Calcutta HC stays East-West Metro project

The Calcutta High Court. PTI file photo

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday stayed any further work of the East-West Metro Railway project, which connects a 16.5 km long stretch between the Salt Lake on the eastern fringes of Kolkata and neighbouring Howrah city.

The order comes after a couple of houses collapsed and about 20 others were damaged at Bowbazar area of Central Kolkata after the tunnel-boring machine used for the East-West Metro project hit an aquifer on Saturday. However, there has not been any casualty in the incident as the local residents were swiftly evacuated by police.

A PIL was filed at the Calcutta High Court on August 6, alleging that several buildings in the Bowbazar area were developing cracks due to the East-West Metro project. Following the incident on Saturday, lawyer Ritzu Ghoshal drew the Chief Justice’s attention to it and appealed for urgent hearing of the case.

The High Court issued the stay order as the case came up for hearing on Tuesday. The case will again come up for hearing on September 16.

Later in the day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the 52 affected families will each receive compensation of Rs 5 lakh. She also said that those whose shops were damaged beyond repair will be given new shops.

“We have to consult experts to ensure that no further problems arise in the future. It is not the time for a blame game,” said Mamata.

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