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In Photo: A Google Map view of Red Road (marked in map as Indira Gandhi Sarani). The tunnel is on the right side of the road.   

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 15 September: SECURITY agencies have stumbled upon a newly dug 18 feet long tunnel at Red Road in the heart of Kolkata.

The site of the tunnel falls in the high security zone due to its close proximity to the Fort William ~ the headquarters of the Eastern Army Command.

A similar tunnel, though a little shorter in length at 11 feet was found in the vicinity on 30 November 2013 and the police had on that occasion claimed it to be the doing of vagrants for storing stolen goods.

On Tuesday afternoon police patrol team detected the new tunnel close to the Bengal Nagpur Railway (now South Eastern Railway) Club on Maidan. This after a group of youths who were playing food ball noticed abnormality on the patch of land that was covered by dry grass and alerted the cops. The site is barely 100-150 metres from the Fort William.

The tunnel has its mouth on a grass patch behind the concrete railing that separate Maidan from the Red Road and was covered with two pieces of ply-board type material with dry grass spread over them to avoid the scrutiny of passers-by.

The tunnel is around 3 feet in diameter. It first vertically cuts straight under the Read Road for about 9 feet and then takes a left turn for another 9 feet towards the direction of the Fort William before reaching a dead end.

An officer from the Eastern Army Command, who went inside the tunnel along with some personnel from the Bengal disaster management group, refused to divulge any details as to what he saw inside.

But police sources said that nothing could be immediately spotted in the tunnel but a close inspection would carried out on Wednesday. “It appears that the tunnel has been dug barely over the past two days. Such repeated attempts  in the vicinity of Fort William is a real cause for concern,” said a senior cop.

What is worrisome is that there is a 24X7 police kiosk and a manned traffic police booth located within 150 metres of the tunnel site. Besides this, plain cloth military Intelligence officials are supposed to roam about the area as it falls close to their headquarters. Yet miscreants are repeatedly making such daring attempts.