Heavy rainfall due to formation of a deep depression over Gangetic West Bengal affected normal life in Kolkata and several districts on Monday. The Met department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours.
While a few areas in north Bengal received 122 mm rainfall on Monday, Kolkata alone recorded 67 mm rainfall in the last nine hours, as per Met department sources. The government has opened a 24×7 control room to meet the exigency, and is monitoring the situation.
“Due to deep depression over Gangetic West Bengal, we are witnessing normal to heavy rains across the state. As per instruction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, situation is being monitored through a 24×7 control room. I have already spoken to district officials. Met department has predicted 25 to 50 mm rainfall in the next 24 hours in some parts,” said Irrigation Minister Rajiv Banerjee.
The Met department said the deep depression over Gangetic West Bengal is likely to move slowly towards west-northwestwards in the next 24 hours and then move northwards. “In most places, heavy to very heavy rainfall is predicted. A few places in Gangetic West Bengal may witness extremely heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours,” said an official.
Wind speed reaching 45 to 55 km/ph and gusting to 65 km/ph would prevail along and off north Odisha and West Bengal coasts in the next 24 hours. “Fishermen along Bengal coasts have been asked not to venture into the sea,” added the official.
The heavy downpour threw movement of vehicles in several parts of Kolkata out of gear. Gusty winds uprooted trees
and damaged lamp posts in several areas, disrupting electricity supply. “At 45 places in the city, trees got uprooted and at least three lamp posts got damaged due to rain. Along with local and traffic police, six Kolkata Police’s disaster management teams are working in tandem to meet the crisis,” said a senior police officer.
Some of the areas where trees got uprooted are the crossing of DPS Road and NSC Bose Road, Transport Depot Road, Strand Road near High Court, Narkeldanga Main Road near Swabhumi, Sarat Bose Road (near the crossing of Lake Road and Sarat Bose Road), Basanti Highway, BB Chatterjee Road (near R.B.Connector Crossing), Raja Subodh Chandra Mallick Road near Jadavpur University, Belvedere Road, Southern Avenue and Jatin Bagchi Road, among others.
As per police sources, a portion of a wall of an old, dilapidated building in ward number 74 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation in Alipore police station area collapsed due to heavy rain. There were 10-12 inhabitants in the house, who were safely evacuated. KMC officials are working to demolish the entire building, which had been declared unsafe long ago.
The inclement weather also disrupted flight and train services. “Due to gusty winds, flight services got disrupted,” said Airport Director Atul Dixit. As per officials, at least five flights slated for arrival at Kolkata airport and eight scheduled for departure had to be cancelled. About 30 flights set for arrival had to be rescheduled. Overall, more than 45 flights were affected due to the bad weather.
As per PTI, Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai flights were diverted to Delhi and Ranchi, respectively. A flight from Port Blair was diverted to Agartala. Another flight from Silchar to Kolkata had to land at Guwahati and a flight from Agartala to Kolkata had to return.
Suburban train services in Sealdah south and main line sections and Howrah-Barddhaman chord and main line were affected after trees fell on the railway tracks. Tree branches fell on Up line between Bhadreswar and Mankundu station on Howrah-Barddhaman Main line section at 3.50 pm, at Boinchigram on Down line at 5.05 pm. Waterlogging on tracks caused signal failure at some places. Overhead power supply was disturbed between Cheragram and Belmuri locals of Sealdah division and nine pairs of local trains of Howrah division had to be cancelled.
“Track maintenance crew and Tower Van crew worked relentlessly to remove the branches of the trees from the tracks and pumped out water to resume movement of trains. Signal failures occurred in Belgharia, Titagarh, Baruipur and Sealdah stations due to which some local trains got delayed,” as per a statement issued by the Railways.