Kolkata: Three buildings were severely damaged and around a dozen-odd suffered cracks in Bowbazar area, allegedly due to the ongoing work of tunnel boring undertaken by the authorities of East-West Metro.Mayor Firhad Hakim, who is also the state Urban Development minister, visited the spot and working in tandem with the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) officials, ensured that the affected residents got relocated in hotels situated in and around the area. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA portion of a building located at Durga Pithuri Lane collapsed in the wee hours of Sunday, while some others located at the same lane, Madan Dutta Lane and Sankhari Para Lane developed cracks. “Safety of the people residing in these buildings is our top priority. We will not allow anybody to stay in the buildings that have suffered damages. I have spoken with KMRC and they have already made arrangements for the fooding and lodging of the affected residents in nearby hotels,” Hakim said, after holding a meeting with officials of KMRC, Kolkata Police and Fire department in the afternoon. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe affected residents claimed that no prior notice about tunnel boring work and evacuation had been issued to them. They said that KMRC, which is executing the project, started boring work under Durga Pithuri Lane at around 7.00 pm. Within a few minutes, most of the buildings in the locality started shaking and it seemed like an earthquake. “A loud sound was heard and cracks started developing in the building walls. After a few minutes, the lights went off,” a resident alleged. “On Saturday, I reached my home (10 A, Durga Pithuri Lane) at 10 pm and saw that most of the buildings had been evacuated by the KMRC officials and police. We were keeping our fingers crossed hearing the sound of cracks and ultimately were shifted to a hotel at 5 am,” said Dr Pradip Laha, a local resident. Most of the buildings that have suffered damages are more than 150-years-old and engineers expressed their apprehension that with the extent of damage, a few of them may be beyond repair. “Initially we will charge cement in the cracks and try to mend them as much as possible. Then we will consult structural experts who will examine the building and will certify what needs to be done and accordingly, the repair work will be taken up,” Hakim said. MP Sudip Bondhopadhyay, who went to the spot earlier in the day, said: “People always wanted Metro here. They are not against Metro. They did not expect this will happen. It’s a human error.” Manas Sarkar, managing director of KMRC, who visited the spot, said that considering the safety of the residents, arrangements for lodging of 254 people have already been made. He assured that the KMRC will do necessary repair work and build the buildings afresh, if needed. It may be mentioned that KMRC is executing the 16.6 km long EW Metro corridor, which will connect Salt Lake Sector V with Howrah Maidan. The tunneling work from Sealdah to Esplanade area is going on at present.