City gets heaviest Sept rains in 13 yrs as deluge throws life out of gear

City gets heaviest Sept rains in 13 yrs as deluge throws life out of gear

Kolkata: Kolkata recorded the highest rainfall of September in 13 years following an incessant downpour in the metropolis and its neighbouring districts since the early hours of Monday, as several areas were submerged and transport services crippled.

Indicating no respite, the MeT Department forecast light to moderate rain in all districts of South Bengal, with one or two spells of heavy rainfall and thundershowers, till Tuesday morning. The metropolis had recorded 174.4 mm of rainfall on September 25 in 2007.

Meanwhile, the MeT office has issued an orange alert for districts like Kolkata, North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly, which will receive some spell of heavy showers on Tuesday. The low pressure has started moving further West. The city has received around 200 mm rainfall on Monday.

Kolkata woke up to an overcast sky accompanied by heavy showers. The office-bound commuters were greatly inconvenienced as most of the streets, lanes and bylanes were inundated. Private buses were few and many of the cabs did not ply due to heavy waterlogging.

Two people reportedly died in the state after being struck by lightning. One incident occurred in Bankura while the other happened at Purbasthali in East Burdwan. One youth died after being struck by lightning while five more received injuries when they were travelling in a boat from Bagran to Damdama Ghat in Bankura's Bishnupur. The deceased has been identified as Abhijit De (32). The injured passengers have been admitted to a hospital. A 50-year-old building in Baguiati collapsed due to overnight rain.

As many as 17 flights were delayed for around one hour in Kolkata airport due to heavy rain on Monday. Three flights that were scheduled to land in Kolkata on Monday afternoon were diverted to other airports due to bad weather conditions and technical reasons. Hangers and taxi bays were also under water and several pumps were used to drain it out.

Torrential rainfall in the city and other South Bengal districts was caused due to the movement of cyclonic circulation from the north-west Bay of Bengal to Gangetic Bengal and a strong moisture incursion from the sea.

The other places to receive heavy rain are Canning, South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly. Salt Lake received 185 mm rainfall, Dum Dum 177 mm and Alipore 157 mm. Water started to recede from most of the stretches late afternoon after heavy showers stopped.

The rainfall recorded by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) shows that the Dhapa Lock pumping station recorded 190 mm rainfall between 10 pm on September 19 and 2 pm on Monday. During this period, Topsia and Ultadanga pumping stations received 155 mm and 152 mm rainfall respectively while Palmer Bridge and Ballygunge pumping stations recorded 150 mm and 146 mm rainfall respectively. Kalighat, Duttabagan, Mominpur and Chetla pumping stations recorded 149 mm, 144 mm,138 mm and 130 mm rainfall respectively. Behala Flying club pumping station recorded 131 mm rainfall.

Rashbehari Avenue stretches on Sarat Bose Road, Southern Avenue were under waist-deep water on Monday morning. All the lanes and bylanes were flooded.

There was heavy waterlogging on Central Avenue, areas surrounding Thanthania Kalibari, Sukia Street and Amherst Street. Areas surrounding Kalikrishna Tagore Street, Kalakar Street, Maharshi Devendra Road and Chitpore were underwater. The water at Ballygunge Lake and Subhas Sarobar overflowed the banks. Several stretches of Salt Lake Sector V also went underwater.

Tarak Singh, Member, Board of Administrators of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) along with the senior officials of the Drainage department monitored the situation. Singh said 400 pumps had been pressed into service to clear the accumulated water from the streets. He said by evening, the accumulated water from the main thoroughfares were cleared. "There may be waterlogging in some pockets but the main roads in the city have been cleared," he said.

The KMC authorities opened the lock gates and the pain stock gates along the river Hooghly to clear the accumulated water. The lock gates had to be closed from 11 pm Sunday to 3 am on Monday due to high tide in river Hooghly. The water level in Hooghly went up causing an inundation of 30 wards under Howrah Municipal Corporation. Many roads in Serampore, Uttarpara, Bandel, Chinsurah, Rishra and Konnagar were flooded.

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