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“Give our Homes back”, cry Bowbazar Metro victims on the fourth anniversary of the disaster


News Desk, News Nation 360: Exactly four years ago today (31 August 2019), Durga Pituri Lane and Syakra Para Lane, at Bowbazar, were almost obliterated when a number of buildings came down like a pack of cards, as a result, the careless underground work by the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited. For the past four years, the owners and residents of the buildings have been staying in rented flats and hotels, awaiting eagerly to get back their homes & hearts. The KMRCL authorities now say the houses can be rebuilt only by 2027. Who is going to be responsible if this gets delayed up to 2057? Also, where is the assurance that the authorities will not wash their hands off, once trains start running on this route? The rightful owners & residents are in deep water. The role of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) also is not clear to us. An apparent game of passing the buck is being played by KMRCL, ITD-ITD Cementation and KMC. As a result, the affected residents feel helpless, their only demand being “Give our Homes back”. People who have had entire buildings for themselves are now compelled to stay in one or two rooms and have to abide by the rules of the hotel and/or their landlords. Small businesses have shut down and there is widespread gloom and pessimism all around. The elderly people are sure, given the insensitivity of Metro, that they will never be able to be back to their own home, in their lifetime. In fact, more than 25 residents of the area have died during the past four years and homage was paid to their memory today. Their demands are 1) Regular updating of the project status vis-a-vis the restoration of the devastated areas, 2) Fast repair & reconstruction, as the case may be, of the affected buildings, 3) Payment of rehabilitation compensation to the victims of the catastrophe on 11 May 2022, among others, 4) The cluster concept, floated by some quarters, is not feasible and must be immediately scrapped. Sanjoy Sen, Secretary, Bowbazar Mati-O-Manab Kalyan Society stated that the careless attitude of the Metro authorities has frightened them whether they will ever be rehabilitated safely in rebuilt homes. 

Pic : Courtesy

Report : Anustup Kundu

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