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Featured Image: An waterlogged street in south Kolkata. 

By Our Newsmen

Kolkata / Howrah / Asansol, 06 September: VAST areas in Kolkata, Howrah, and Durgapur have gone under knee-deep water following overnight rain affecting normal life badly.

There has been hardly any rain in Kolkata and Howrah since morning today but the downpour that lashed the two cities in phases since around 4.30 pm yesterday was enough to inundate the streets.

According to the Alipore weather observation centre, while it had rained about 65 mm in Kolkata from 08.30 am to 5.30 pm yesterday, another 67 mm downpour lashed the city and its adjoining areas in the next 11 hours, that is, till early today morning.

As a result of the heavy rain, almost all arterial roads in Kolkata ~ from north to south ~ remained under water till noon today. This is because due to the high tide on Hooghly river, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) could not open the lock-gates attached to the high drains and canals in the city.

Making the situation worse, a number of large trees fell near Gariahat Crossing, and Lake Market on Rash Behari Avenue, and on Sarat Bose Road early today morning.

At Amherst Street in north Kolkata, an elderly woman was rescue safely by police after the building in which she was staying collapsed due to heavy rain.

Because of the waterlogging and uprooting of trees, traffic all over Kolkata has been badly hit and people are being compelled to reach work by wading through knee-deep water.

KMC opened the lock-gates around 09 am and with this, water on the streets has started receding slowly. But despite this, there is still up to knew-deep water on the roads at Thanthania, Central Avenue, Muktaram Babu Street, Coolotala, MG Road, Hospital Road (near Victoria Memorial), Roudon Street, Diamond Harbour Road, Mominpur, Amherst Street, Sukia Street, Tiljala, Mukundupur and Science City and on EM Bypass.

With the railway track in north Kolkata and the northern suburbs going under water, train services on the Sealdah Main Line is extremely infrequent since morning. Most local trains are plying behind schedule and also getting stranded en route.

In Howrah, the rain has waterlogged as many as 25 out of the 66 municipal wards. The affected most areas include Liluah, Tikiapara, Panchanantala, Belilious Lane, and Rabindranagar.

The waterlogging on railway lines near Tikiapara car-shed has badly disrupted movement of local trains to and from Howrah station. There is up to 1.5 feet water on the railway line and because of this, incoming passenger trains are not being allowed to move beyond Tikiapara.

As regards long distance trains, those are being allowed to move through the waterlogged stretch but only after railway workers checking the underwater tracks with their hands manually. This is making the trains ply slowly.

Since morning, South Eastern Railway has cancelled four local trains on the Howrah – Kharagpur section; another seven trains originated from Santragachi station instead of Howrah.

Both South Eastern and Eastern Railway authorities have said that the train services would not become normal till the stagnant water in and around Tikipara car-shed recedes. This can only happen when the Howrah Municipal Corporation clears the outer drainage and there is no further downpour.

In Durgapur, the heavy rain since yesterday morning has inundated better parts of the town. As many as 23 out of the 43 municipal wards in Durgapur has been inundated by even waist-deep water in some places.

Clogged drains in and around the town have worsened the situation as the accumulated water is unable to get out. Adding to this is the discharge of water from the barrages in the upstream of Durgapur. As a result several areas in Jamuria, Raniganj, and Asansol too have been submerged.