Evacuated from Bowbazar home, depressed elderly dies

Family members of Anjali Mallick alleged she had been suffering from acute depression since she had to leave her house and started staying in a small hotel-room.

Published: 12th September 2019 09:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2019 09:33 AM   |  A+A-

A view of the buildings in the Bowbazar area, where several houses have been damaged owing to tunneling for  East-West Metro corridor, in Kolkata on Thursday; (Below) Residents carrying out their belongings.

A view of the buildings in the Bowbazar area, where several houses have been damaged owing to tunneling for East-West Metro corridor, in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

KOLKATA: An 87-year-old woman, who was among 500-odd people evacuated from her Bowbazar house after it developed deep cracks due to underground work for the East-West Metro project, died on Wednesday in a hotel room where she was shifted 10 days ago. Family members of Anjali Mallick alleged she had been suffering from acute depression since she had to leave her house and started staying in a small hotel-room.

Metro Rail workers use a ladder
to reach the top of a building
where several houses have
been damaged during the
boring of the East-West Metro
corridor at Bowbazar in Kolkata.

Mallick, who was suffering from hip injury, was a resident of a three-storey building on Syakrapara Lane off BB Ganguly Street which was damaged because the Metro’s underground tunnelling work. 

“She stopped interacting with us. Most of the time, she used to lay on the bed. Recently, she started refusing the food served by the hotel staff. We complained about the quality of food and hotel room to the Metro authorities but no action was taken. She developed a psychological problem after becoming homeless overnight,’’ said Mallick’s daughter Anita Auddi.

Manas Sarkar, divisional manager of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), the agency implementing the project, described Mallick’s death as a sad news. “There are committees to take care of the families staying in hotels. If there is any complaint, the committees are taking action promptly,’’ he said.  

While rushing out of their ancestral houses, many families had to leave behind valuables, right from documents like land deeds, bank passbooks to mahogany period furniture and Belgium glass mirrors.

“I was given five minutes to come out with my family. I managed to collect some clothes and came out leaving everything valuable behind,’’ said Nimai Chandra Laha, whose 150-year-old ancestral house had been damaged because of the Metro project. 

Piyali Sen managed to bring out her four pet dogs, but could not save her 40 birds. “My house caved in on September 2 and my birds were buried under the debris. Still I come every day, if I can find some valuable documents once the debris is cleared,’’ she said.

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