Rains lash south Bengal; road, rail traffic thrown out of gear

Last Updated 01 August 2015, 09:01 IST

Heavy rainfall lashed south Bengal districts and disrupted normal life in the state capital here, throwing road and rail traffic out of gear since early this morning as most parts of the city were submerged.

The MeT department recorded 133.6-mm rainfall in the last 24 hours till 8.30 A.M. today and has forecast heavy to very heavy rains in Gangetic West Bengal till tomorrow.

Cyclone 'Komen', which made landfall in Bangladesh on Thursday, remained practically stationary there and has weakened into a depression, it said.

The weather phenomenon would move west­northwestwards and gradually weaken into a well-marked low-pressure area, the MeT office said.

Flood-like situation was reported in several districts of South Bengal like Howrah, South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore with heavy rains lashing these areas in the last few days.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday said that the inclement weather has claimed 39 lives and affected about 7 lakh people, leaving many homeless in the districts.

Several roads in north and south Kolkata remained under knee-deep water owing to the rains.  Arterial roads like Central Avenue, Park Street, Theatre Road, Hospital Road, Amherst Street and parts of Diamond Harbour Road were waterlogged, leading to traffic snarls.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is running 300 pumps from its permanent pumping stations in different parts of the city along with 360 more portable pumps to drain out the water, Mayor in-Council (drainage) member, Tarak Singh, said.

The water level in the Ganges recorded a high of 6.8-m owing to a full moon yesterday combined with the heavy rains and release of water from upper catchment areas, said a River Traffic Police officer.

The high water level in the river also hampered the drainage of water from certain parts of the city, KMC officials said. Train services at Howrah and Sealdah sections of Eastern Railway were affected owing to the flooding of the tracks, said ER CPRO, Ravi Mahapatra.

"At Sealdah, EMU local train services are delayed and we are running trains on Sunday schedule," he said.  That meant several EMU locals were cancelled due to lack of rakes, which were stuck in waterlogged car sheds.

Mail and express trains to and from Howrah and Sealdah are delayed, but all the trains are running, he said.

Train services at Kolkata station, another terminal in North Kolkata, are stalled due to the tracks going under water, he added.

All trains to and from Kolkata station were diverted to Sealdah, except Hazarduari Lalgola Express, which has been cancelled for the day in both up and down routes, he said.

The city's underground Metro Railway service was also affected for some time due to mechanical problem of a rake at Rabindra Sarobar station at 8.02 am. Services were normalised at 8.20 am, said Mahapatra who is also the Metro Railway CPRO.

People largely chose to remain indoors with most schools and many offices being closed on Saturday, as incessant rains continued since last night.

There was little public transport on the roads with both state and private-run buses not showing up. Taxis and auto-rickshaws were also very few in numbers, leaving people, who ventured out, in great difficulty to reach their destinations.

(Published 01 August 2015, 08:59 IST)

Follow us on