Man, son among three dead as heavy rains lash Bengal
Three people including a father and son were killed in house collapses Saturday following heavy overnight rain that lashed the southern districts of West Bengal including Kolkata, disrupting train and vehicular movement and inundating vast areas, officials said.
Even the entrance to the temporary state secretariat "Nabanna" at Mandirtala of neighbouring Howrah district went under knee-deep water in the morning, inconveniencing the employees and visitors.
The seat of government has been shifted to Howrah to facilitate renovation and restoration of the age-old secretariat Writers' Buildings.
A 22-year-old man and his father died when a part of a multi-storey building caved in on Cotton Street in central Kolkata, police said.
A woman died when a wall collapsed at Galsi of Burdwan district.
The Met office said many places in East Midnapore, Burdwan, and South 24 Parganas districts received rainfall in excess of 100mm till Saturday afternoon.
"While the city received an average of 105 mm rainfall, Diamond Harbour (South 24 Parganas) received the most with 213 mm. Several parts of Burdwan, Birbhum East and West Midnapore and Howrah have received more than 100 mm rainfall," said G.C.Debnath, director, Regional Meteorological Centre.
The Met office has warned of more heavy rainfall in these districts with the situation expected to improve Sunday afternoon onwards.
Roads and lanes at more than 100 places of Kolkata went from ankle deep to chest deep water, throwing normal life out of gear and stalling traffic.
A part of a house gave way at Sukia Street of north Kolkata, but no one was injured.
While water level rose chest high in Amherst Street, areas like Mohammed Ali Park, Behala, Ballygunge, Bidhan Sarani and Hatibagan were submerged.
Traffic movement on the vital Gurusaday Dutta Road in south Kolkata was stalled for hours after a tree was uprooted, while a private bus got stuck in the slush at Keshtopur in northeast Kolkata.
With large parts of the city witnessing under water, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee - now on a visit to north Bengal - called up Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim asking him to take remedial measures.
City Mayor Sovon Chatterjee said the Kolkata Municipal Corporation was working on a war-footing to bring the situation under control.
Train movement was also affected with the South Eastern Railway cancelling, diverting or short terminating several long-distance trains due to the heavy rain and floods in coastal Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh as well as West Bengal.
Howrah-Secunderabad Falaknuma Express, and the Howrah-Yesvantpur Duronto Express scheduled to depart from Howrah Saturday have been cancelled.
Santragachi-Kochuveli Weekly Puja Special and Santragachi-Chennai AC Superfast Weekly Puja Special scheduled to leave Santragachi Saturday too have been cancelled.
The following trains have been rescheduled: Howrah -Hyderabad East Coast Express has been rescheduled to leave Howrah at 2.00 p.m. instead of 11.45 a.m. Saturday and will run through a diverted route via Kharagpur-Tatanagar-Jharsuguda- Bilaspur-Nagpur-Ballarsha-Kazipet.
Haldia-Chennai Express has been rescheduled to leave Haldia at 1.00 a.m. instead of 11.30 a.m. Saturday and will run via Kharagpur-Tatanagar-Jharsuguda-Bilaspur-Nagpur-Ballarsha-Kazipet.
Apart from setting up emergency controls in all the four divisions of Kharagpur, Adra, Chakradharpur and Ranchi, special patrol teams have been deployed to inspect sensitive locations like bridges and cuttings and maintain a strict vigil on tracks near water bodies.
(Posted on 26-10-2013)