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Stay on East West Metro work extended till November 8

Calcutta HC division bench sought written reports about the steps taken to restore normality in the Bowbazar area

By Our Legal Reporter in Calcutta

  • Published 18.09.19, 2:51 AM
  • Updated 18.09.19, 9:25 AM
Calcutta High Court
Calcutta High Court (Shutterstock)

A Calcutta High Court division bench on Tuesday extended the order restraining the resumption of East-West Metro’s tunnel-boring work in the Bowbazar area till November 8.

The division bench of Chief Justice T.B.N. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee asked the state government and the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation, the project’s implementing agency, to file written reports about the steps they have taken to restore normality in the area.

The East-West Metro will connect Salt Lake’s Sector V with Howrah Maidan with a stretch running under the Hooghly.

The state and the KMRC will have to report about the facilities they have provided the residents of the damaged buildings with, the bench said.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Paribesh Academy, an NGO representing the residents.

The PIL, filed more than a month ago, speaks of the residents’ worry about the consequence of boring tunnels some 17m under their homes in the Bowbazar area. After the August 31 fiasco, the residents had sought an urgent hearing.

The matter will again come up for hearing on November 7.

The state government will have to inform the court what action the disaster management department had taken while following the Bengal disaster management act guidelines, the chief justice said.

The bench asked the petitioner to make the civic body a party to the case.

On Tuesday, KMRC lawyer Ranjan Bachwat told the court that the agency had taken all steps to control the situation. “Seventy-eight buildings have been examined and some have been found fit for living. Some buildings need thorough repairs and some have to be demolished,” he submitted.

Bachwat said the homeless had been shifted to hotels and that KMRC officials were taking care of them.

Tale Mashud Siddiqui, appearing for the state, said a high-power committee had been formed to monitor the situation and that the members had recently met.

During the first hearing on September 4, KMRC lawyers had told the court construction had been stopped and that work would resume only with the court’s permission. The bench had ordered the KMRC not to start work till September 19.