Rains, cloudy skies fail to dampen puja fervour
Puja revellers turned out in big numbers at most of the famous and big budget pujas pandals in the city. From the traditional north and central Kolkata pandals to the more sophisticated ones in south Kolkata, people soaked in the festive spirit.
Pandals in the city fringes in the south and north also drew in impressive numbers, as per traffic police records.
However, the rain could play the role of Mahishasura this puja, as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that light to heavy rains and thundershowers could spoil the Puja fun in the next few days.
The IMD predicted that rain and thunderstorms may occur between October 8 and 10, when Puja festivity will be at its peak and lakhs will be visiting pandals to catch a glimpse of Goddess Durga.
Mahashashti, the day of ‘bodhan’ of the Goddess, began in dull fashion, as the weather was gloomy throughout and the sky remained overcast.
Intermittent showers soaked many parts of the city, but could not dampen the spirit of pandal hoppers.
Weather scientists at the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore had predicted light rainfall during the Puja days, but also warned that the light rains could turn to heavy thunderstorms in case a deep depression developed.
Weathermen informed that a low pressure axis had originated alongside Telangana, South Chhattisgarh and West Assam. Jharkhand and Bengal are bound to receive medium to heavy rainfall due to the low pressure axis, which could lead to a deep depression in Gangetic Bengal.
As a result, Kolkata and other districts of South Bengal will receive heavy rainfall in the coming days.
Experts at the Alipore MeT office, however, said that these rains could not be attributed to the Monsoon system, but this kind of low pressure often develops over the Bay of Bengal and may spread to adjacent states.
“The deep depression, which is a result of the low pressure, caused the rainfall on Sunday. City life could face disruptions by the end of the week, but by then the depression would lose its strength,” the scientist said.
Many districts in South Bengal – Howrah, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore, Burdwan and Purulia – are set for a rainy spell. Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur and Alipurduar – will have some rain as well.
Till early afternoon on Sunday last, the depression had placed itself in close proximity to Kolkata and due to its strength heavier showers are expected over the City of Joy.
The Puja organisers, advertisers, decorators and idol artists are in a spot due to the untimely rains. However, the MeT department has said that the rain will retreat by October 15. Community pujas there are being held in the open could face a lot of trouble. Electrical problems, particularly short circuiting, could also occur.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and other civic bodies adjacent to the city are gearing up to tackle any emergency.