Kolkata

East-West Metro Project: To rehabilitate Bowbazar traders, KMRCL begins allotting shops

Kolkata Metro, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited, Kolkata Metro Rail, KMRC, Bowbazar area, Kolkata Bowbazar area, Kolkata news, city news, Indian Express
Kolkata Metro, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited, Kolkata Metro Rail, KMRC, Bowbazar area, Kolkata Bowbazar area, Kolkata news, city news, Indian Express Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) workers protest against Metro authorities in Kolkata on Monday. (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

After giving compensation to nearly 100 affected families of Bowbazar area and identifying buildings that need to be rebuild, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) has now decided to allot temporary shops to the businessmen who have recently been evacuated.

In a bid to bring their businesses back on track, the KMRCL distributed trade licence verification forms to nearly 50 shop owners of the Bowbazar area on Sunday.

Most of the shops in the Bowbazar area deal in gold ornaments, due to which, it is known as the jewellery hub of Kolkata. Thousands of gold artisans have been working here for generations. But, with the damage to over 50 buildings in Durga Pithuri Lane and Shyakra Para Lane, some housing gold jewellery shops and workshops, in the area, several hundred artisans are now rendered jobless, while the businessmen are suffering huge losses.

The name Shyakra Para itself means hub of goldsmiths, if literally translated.

A KMRCL official said the shop owners will have to fill up the forms with all details, including name, licence number and years into the business.

“It has to be duly certified by the owner of the damaged building, local councillor and police. Once the verification is done they will be allotted a temporary location from where they can continue their business,” said the official of KMRCL. As per sources, they are most likely to be shifted to Lisa Lane in central Kolkata and Sukeas Lane in Burrabazar area.

The shop owners are in a fix.

“Since August 31, shops and offices at Durga Pithuri Lane and Shyakra Para Lane are shut. I don’t know for how long we will have to suffer like this. I have not been able to bring my material from my shop yet,” said an owner who has been shifted to a hotel.

The KMRCL officials also held a meeting with with the traders.

The residents of Bowbazar were evacuated at a short notice earlier this month after cracks appeared on some buildings on August 31, while some started collapsing due to the East-West Metro work. Experts and engineers working on the project – being deemed as India’s technological marvel considering the underwater Metro tunnel passing through river Hooghly – suggested that leakage in the tunnel resulted in the damage. The machine, which was boring the tunnel, through which Howrah Maidan-bound trains would run, hit a giant aquifer. Water from the aquifer flooded the tunnel, triggering subsidence and causing severe damage to many buildings.

Article source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/east-west-metro-project-to-rehabilitate-bowbazar-traders-kmrcl-begins-allotting-shops-6001485/

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