Residents lose sleep over metro tunnelling work

Bengaluru residents lose sleep over metro tunnelling work

People point to cracks in the building due to the tunnelling work on Sunday. Credit: DH Photo

Tunnelling work for the underground metro line between Cantonment Station and Shivajinagar is giving sleepless nights to residents on Dhanakoti Road near Madina Grounds, Sultan Nagar.

Early Sunday morning, residents rushed out of their homes due to vibrations caused by the drilling and braved the winter night till 2 am demanding a halt to the work.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has recently begun working on the 13.9- km underground section of the 21.25 km Gottigere-Nagawara metro line under Namma Metro’s Phase 2.

Around 9.30 pm, about 70 residents of the buildings next to Bangalore Medicals rushed out of their homes and gathered at the junction of Dhanakoti Road and Sultan Nagar. Soon, the numbers swelled to 300 as people started calling their representatives for help.

Residents said that MLA Rizwan Arshad, who intervened around 12 am, succeeded in stopping the drilling at 2 am. “The entire crowd stayed till early morning. The MLA assured residents that the situation will be resolved at the earliest,” said Haseeb Ahmed, a youth leader.

The office of the MLA confirmed the incident. “He requested them to stop the work temporarily and assured of help to some families,” a spokesperson said.

“First, we started hearing a loud rumble. Then the whole building started vibrating. I rushed out without taking anything except for my mobile phone and called friends and relative,” said 45-year-old Mahboob Khan, a resident of first cross, Thimmaiah Road.

Khan, who shifted his family to a relative’s house, said about 40 other residents from his building have left for their relatives’ houses. “Some advised that I should first get compensation from officials. It was the middle of the night and I just took my wife and three children and left,” Khan told DH.

Residents have been wary of the metro work after a sinkhole opened up next to Oxford Furnitures in October. Shabeer Pasha, owner of the furniture shop, said officials have promised to provide him compensation. “If they had seen an a 80-feet sinkhole opening up next to their home, will they wait for compensation? The truth is we are living in fear of recurrence of such an incident,” he said.

Akram Khan, who owns a lodge and three buildings in the area, said some of the buildings have developed cracks. “They may not look big. But those living inside will know how it feels to be in that situation,” he said.

BMRCL Managing Director Ajay Seth said he was not aware of the latest development.

“Our engineers are constantly monitoring the situation. When damage happened to a house about 15 days ago, we responded immediately. Steps have been taken to vacate people in houses situated 15 metres distance of the machine.

We will look into any matter where inconvenience is caused and take appropriate measures,” he said.