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Rain dampens festive spirit in Bengal, Gujarat

Kolkata/Ahmedabad: Oct 8, 2013 DHNS
A view of a waterlogged 'Durga Puja Pandal' during heavy rains in Kolkata on Monday. PTI Photo

Navratri has so far appeared less glittering in two states where it is celebrated with much fervour. Revellers at Durga Puja in West Bengal and the garba dance events in Gujarat miss out on the fun part, as the two states are hit by rains.

Thanks to the low-pressure trough in Bay of Bengal, West Bengal has been witnessing rains on the chaturthi or fourth day of Durga Puja. According to the weather office, the fifth day, or Panchami, of the festival on Wednesday could also be affected by rains. This is a particular bad news in the state as people go around pandals and take part in revelry in Kolkata and other places.

Rain clouds swirled above the state since Tuesday morning, proving to be a dampener at the pandals laid across the state. It showed no signs of improvement even as the meteorological department predicted continuation of the wet weather for the next 48 hours. Met officials informed that moisture-laden wind was blowing from the bay, adding more humidity to the atmosphere and feeding the clouds at the same time.


Tuesday might be the last official day of monsoon in the state, but the grey skies ensured that it would continue at least for the next two days. The encouraging news from the Met office is that Saptami and Ashtami, the seventh and eighth days of celebrations, will be dry even if rains were to continue until Thursday.

“Since it’s time for the retreating monsoons, its (impact) will not be as sharp. Although chances are that the last three days of Durga Puja would be relatively dry, this year, the retreating monsoon seems exceptionally robust,” a weather office source acknowledged.
G C Debnath, Director, regional weather office at Alipore on south Kolkata told reporters, “The weather will improve around October 10 but from October 13, there could be more rain.” Weather bureau believes that another low pressure situation at the Bay on October 13 would trigger rain over southern Bengal, though they say that would be the last of the monsoons for the year.

“If this low pressure moves towards the Odisha-Andhra coast, only the coastal districts will have rainfall but if it moves towards the Odisha-Bengal cost, Kolkata will receive heavy rainfall,” Debnath further added. Weather officials, however, contend that since June every low pressure that has developed over the region has moved towards the Odisha-Bengal coast, it one be any different this time.

Meanwhile, rain has also played spoilsport over Gujarat, disappointing hundreds of garba dance enthusiasts in the state.

The dance is the main entertainment for revelers during the festival. 

For the past 12 hours, several parts of the state including Vadodara, Surat and Ahmedabad have witnessed heavy rains turning garba venues into swishy puddles. 

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