Heavy rains batter city
Kolkata: Heavy rain along with gusty winds lashed Kolkata and nearby areas since late on Sunday night with the MeT department forecasting more downpour till Tuesday.
Incessant rain and squally wind affected normal life in the metropolis on the first working day of the week. Waterlogging and uprooted trees were reported in areas like MG Road, parts of Central Avenue, Rashbehari Avenue, Patipukur and Dum Dum Underpass, New Alipore, Narkeldanga, Beck Bagan, Gariahat and Jadavpur. Slow traffic movements were reported from some parts of the city including the EM Bypass, NSC Bose Road and Commissariat Road.
The regional Meteorological department at Alipore has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in some parts of South Bengal in the next 24 hours.
Flight operations at the Kolkata airport and suburban train services from Howrah and Sealdah have been also been affected due to heavy rainfall caused by deep depression over Gangetic West Bengal. As many as 23 domestic flights have been diverted from the Kolkata airport on Monday.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took stock of the overall situation and issued necessary directives in this regard. Chief Secretary Malay De held a high-level meeting with the senior officials of the 21 departments issuing necessary instructions to them at the state Secretariat Nabanna. Coastal areas have also been alerted. The disaster management units and the police have been asked to be on their toes so that prompt action can be taken if there is any emergency. All the civic bodies have been asked to put in place a proper mechanism to fight the situation. Fishermen have been alerted not to voyage into the sea in the next 24 hours. An emergency control room has been thrown open at Nabanna — 1070.
Some areas have reportedly been under knee-deep to ankle-deep water due to the downpour. Traffic police personnel had a hard time managing the traffic in the city on Monday as around 84 trees were uprooted.
Bad weather also hit the Kolkata airport with several in-bound flights being diverted and delays in out-bound flights. Several passengers were stuck at the airport for hours. Students were inconvenienced due to heavy rain in the city and adjoining districts. Many schools reopened on Monday after the Durga Puja vacation. Some schools declared a holiday owing to the inclement weather.
Bad weather caused track circuit and signal failures at Belghoria, Titagarh, Kolkata, Baruipur and Sealdah stations for which some EMU locals were delayed. Tree branches also fell on Up line between Bhadreswar and Mankundu station on Howrah-Bardhaman Main line section at 3.50 pm, at Boinchigram on Down line at 5 pm. Inclined bamboo trees touched overhead wire of Up line between Seoraphuli and Diara stations of Tarakeswar section at around 4.30 pm. Overhead power supply was also interrupted between Cheragram and Belmuri in Howrah Bardhaman Chord line at 4 pm due to heavy showers.
Five pairs of EMU locals of Sealdah Division and nine pairs of local trains of Howrah Division had to be cancelled.
Waterlogging has been reported in some of the platforms at Sealdah station. Indian MeT department said wind of 45-55 kmph would prevail along and off North Odisha and Bengal coasts during the next 24 hours.
According to the MeT department, a deep depression has formed over Gangetic West Bengal and adjoining North of Bay of Bengal and lay centred about 50 km southeast of Kolkata at 5.30 am on Monday.