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Heavy rain hits traffic, flights

Kolkata: Vast swathes of the city were inundated following torrential overnight rain that began on Friday afternoon and continued till Saturday, cutting off road links at several places of the metropolis.

Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, Deputy Director, Indian Meteorological Department said the city, along with the South Bengal districts, are likely to experience heavy showers in the next 24 hours.

Mayor Firhad Hakim along with senior civic officials, including Khalil Ahmed, Commissioner, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Amit Roy, Director General (Drainage) visited the pumping stations and several low-lying areas in Behala where Ratna Chatterjee also accompanied them.

The city received 186.1 mm rainfall in the past 24 hours till around noon on Saturday, the Regional Meteorological Centre said. The MeT office has forecast heavy rain for the day. Areas surrounding Parnashree, Shilpara and Sakherbazar were underwater.

Hakim said all the pumps were working good and the accumulated water from the streets would be cleared if there was no further downpour. The rain stopped around 2.30 pm.

The Eastern Railway cancelled six short destination EMU local trains as the car shed in Howrah was under water. As a result, two UP EMU local trains from Howrah to Srirampore and Belur Math and two Dn EMU local trains from Belur Math and Seoraphuli to Howrah were cancelled. The Circular Railway Services between Princep Ghat and Bagbazar had been suspended from 10.40 am after the railway track got flooded.

Flight operations were also disrupted, as take-off and landing were delayed at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

The city woke up to an overcast sky with sporadic heavy showers. In North Kolkata, areas under Amherst Street, Thanthania Kali temple and Sukia Street were marooned. It may be mentioned that KMC has proposed to take up a plan to upgrade the century-old drainage system in these areas. Traffic along Chittaranjan Avenue crawled as stretches near Rammandir and Mohammad Ali Park lay under knee-deep water. Muktaram Babu Street and Colootola Street were also waterlogged.

In South Kolkata, there was waterlogging in some low-lying areas in Behala, Chetla and Kalighat. One person was trapped after a portion of an old dilapidated building collapsed at 40, Pulin Khatik Road in East Kolkata. The disaster management team of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation worked to clear debris along with their Kolkata Police counterparts.

In New Town, Debashis Sen, Chairman of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) visited the pumping station and added that all the 22 pumps are working to clear the accumulated water from some low-lying areas of New Town and Sector V. A special control room was opened to monitor the operation to clear the accumulated water and a special task force was set up to remove plastic from Bagjola Canal where the water is offloaded.

Some important thoroughfares in Srirampur in Hooghly were under water. Vast areas surrounding Rajpur and Sonarpur in South 24-Parganas and Agarpara in North 24-Parganas were inundated. In Sonapur, a 28-year-old person was killed after being electrocuted on Friday evening.

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