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19 die as rain lashes West Bengal

Staff Reporter

City receives 218.4 mm rainfall, train services hit

Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

HIT HARD: The torrential rain in the last few days has flooded Kolkata and its surroundings and a few districts of West Bengal. Here is a scene in front of Writers' Building on Friday.

Kolkata: Several parts of Kolkata were submerged and life was severely disrupted on Friday following heavy rains over the past three days. Boats were used to ferry people in the worst-hit areas and at least seven houses collapsed in the deluge. The city received around 218.4 mm of rainfall in the past 24 hours.

Train services were affected in both the Howrah and Sealdah sections and some long distance trains rescheduled as the tracks remained under water. Services between North and South Bengal were also hit.

Residents angry

Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, who visited the worst affected parts of the city, had to face demonstrations by local people complaining of the failure of the civic authorities to flush out the water that had accumulated on the roads. They were assured that pumps were in operation for the purpose.

The situation in some districts of south Bengal was no better. With the death of three persons including two children who were killed when a house collapsed in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, the toll across the State rose to at least 19. An alert is on in the coastal belt of the State and fishermen have been warned against venturing out to the sea.

Hundreds of families in Murshidabad district had to be evacuated following floods . Heavy discharge of water from the Tilpara and Masenjore reservoirs following incessant rain in the catchment areas contributed to the flooding. The overall flood situation was reviewed by the State's Finance Minister, Asim Dasgupta, at a meeting with the ministers of the departments concerned at the State Secretariat. Arrangements for the dispatch of relief material to those affected were finalised.

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