Incessant rains disrupt normal life in Bengal


Kolkata : Incessant rains since Thursday night in Kolkata and other southern West Bengal districts disrupted normal life Friday inundating several areas, triggering major traffic snarls and hitting train movement, while a high alert has been issued in the state’s coastal areas.

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Commuters had a harrowing time as important arterial roads like Sarat Bose Road and Kyd Street remained blocked for a long time due to uprooted trees.

Train services in the suburban section of Eastern Railway’s Sealdah division have been disrupted partially due to water logging and power tripping as uprooted trees fell on overhead wires on some sections of the railway route. Pumps have been installed to draw out the water, a railway spokesman said.

According to the met office, 70-80 mm of rainfall has been recorded so far Friday following a deep depression, located in Bangladesh and Western Coastal areas, that has come close to the city.

“It will initially move in north-west direction and then follow west-north direction before weakening gradually. A heavy to very heavy rainfall is predicted across Gangetic West Bengal in the next 24 hours,” an officer at the Regional Meteorological Centre here told IANS over phone.

Several areas in northern and southern parts of the city were waterlogged causing major traffic jam. Several diversions were made to ease the traffic movement, but nothing much could be done as all the arterial roads were waterlogged, said Traffic police sergeant S. Roy.

School students and office goers had a tough time in reaching their destination due to incessant rains. The attendance in schools and offices was below normal.

“Due to power cut in Kareya power station, the pumping stations at Ballygunge and Palmer Bazaar remained defunct since morning. Later eight pumps were started in Palmer Bazaar pumping station,” said Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.

If all the pumping stations operate with full force then the water will be pumped out within a few hours, said the Mayor, adding all the Kolkata Municipal Corporation officials have been alerted to work on emergency basis.

In coastal areas of South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts, a red alert has been sounded. Fishermen have been asked not to go out into the sea and tourists advised not to bathe in the sea at the tourist resort of Digha due to rise in water level.

“All fishermen have been alerted. Control rooms have been set up at the block level. Our officials are maintaining contacts with the fishermen who are yet to return,” said Nilaljan Sandilya, additional district magistrate of South 24 Parganas district.

“We have been able to contact most of the fishermen who are yet to return home. They are reportedly in safe shelter. We have spoken with the fishermen associations to prepare a list of the fishermen who could not be contacted. Civil Defence personnel have been deployed for rescue operation while the Coast Guard personnel have been requested to help in rescue operation,” Sandilya told IANS over phone.