Heavy rains across Bengal hit Durga puja preparations


Kolkata, Sep 30 (IANS): Inundated streets caused by heavy showers forced West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to cut short a programme here in the city, large parts of which went under knee-deep to ankle-deep water on Sunday, while many Durga puja organisers in north Bengal's Siliguri town had to postpone inauguration of marquees.

With the Curzon Park in central Kolkata under knee-deep water, Dhankhar could not enter the venue of a programme celebrating the 227th birth anniversary of Rani Rasmoni. The Governor accepted the memorabilia sitting on a chair on the nearby pavement but had to return without garlanding Rani Rasmoni's statue.

According to the Regional Meteorological Centre, Alipore, the city and its adjoining districts received 37.3 mm rainfall over 24 hours till 8.20 a.m. on Sunday, while intermittent rains continued thereafter.

From Topsia in east Kolkata to Khidirpore in the western part of the city as also Ballygunge in the south, many roads saw heavy water-logging, and vehicles moved at a snail's pace. A number of pockets in the satellite township of Salt Lake went under water till noon.

In Jhargram district, the Jamboni block was completely cut off with the Dulung river flowing over the danger mark.

In Siliguri, the preparations for Durga puja - the biggest festival in this part of the world beginning on October 4 - has been greatly hampered because of the inclement weather.

Many big budget community puja organisers of the north Bengal town have postponed their inauguration till 'panchami' (October 3) with the heavy showers leading to water-logging. Going by the trend in recent years, the marquees should have been inaugurated either on Sunday or Monday.

The rains have halted construction of a number of marquees, while some puja organisers were tense about water-logging outside the pandals.

"Due to the rains, the work on marquee has been temporarily stopped," an organiser of Central Colony puja committee said.

"We had to postpone our inauguration by a day as the labourers are unable to work in the present condition. So we are now concentrating on finishing the indoor first," said Dadabhai Sporting Club Puja Committee secretary Babul Roychowdhury.

The weatherman, however, failed to give any good news.

According to the met office, heavy to very heavy with extremely heavy rains are likely over Malda district, while West Burdwan, Birbhum, Jalpaguri, Cooch Behar and Kalimpong could receive heavy to very heavy showers.

Heavy rainfall warning has been given for Bankura, East Burdwan, Nadia, East Midanpore, West Midnapore and Hooghly districts.

Thunderstorm with lightning have been forecast for all districts.

  

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