Millennium Post

Tunnel boring machine leads to cracks at Rashmoni house, descendants want hydrographic survey

Kolkata: The descendents of Rani Rashmoni will urge the Metro Railway authorities to conduct hydrographic survey of the 215-year-old building that developed cracks after tunnel boring machine started burrowing for the construction of the underground tunnel of the East-West Metro.

The decision was taken following a meeting held by the descendents on Saturday morning. The construction of the affected building at 13, Rani Rashmoni Road began in 1790 and ended in 1804. The descendents felt that proper precaution should have been taken before the construction of the underground tunnel.

The house is a witness to major historical events. There are four buildings at Janbazar. Michael Madhusudan Dutt who was a barrister-at–law by profession had visited the house in connection with a law suit.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar who used to call Rani Rashmoni pishima (aunt) came to attend Durga Puja celebrations there. His presence was not liked by many guests who refused to take food with him as he was in favour of widow remarriage.

Sri Ramakrishna who was close to the family particularly to Mathur Mohon Biswas, Rani's son-in-law, came to the house during Durga Puja and worshipped goddess Durga as "sakhi." He intervened when Mathur Mohon refused to immerse the idol.

Prasun Hazra, one of the descendents, said the hydrographic survey was conducted at Dakshineshwar temple at the time of repairing the embankment. The survey was conducted by the Kolkata Port Trust. He said repairing of the cracks should be carried out in an orderly manner and under proper supervision. "Repairing an old structure is not an easy thing and repairing under proper supervision is required," he said.

There are more than 50 old buildings that are over 100 years old between Esplanade and the Bank of India intersection between Amherst Street and B B Ganguly Street.

Some of the century-old structures on the route are the headquarters of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, house of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, house of Nirmal Chunder Chunder among others.

Metro Railway engineers have already inspected Rani Rashmoni's house and assured that every precaution will be taken to safeguard the heritage structure.

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