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Traffic stalled over standing rainwater

Residents blocked Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, in south Calcutta, on Thursday, to protest waterlogging in the area after three days of rain. The blockade, which started around 8 am, continued through the day, dislocating traffic and causing harassment to commuters and schoolgoers.

Residents of Naktala, Bansdroni and the adjacent areas complained that the rainwater had entered their bedrooms. They blamed the waterlogging on the dams erected on Tolly’s Nullah to facilitate Metro Railway extension work.

Metro Railway chief engineer Asoke Gupta, however, was not ready to accept the blame. He said it was the responsibility of the irrigation department to keep the canal free.

So, on Thursday, under the banner of Naktala Dwitiya Pally Nagarik Samity, the area’s residents hit the streets from the morning. A Samity member charged the authorities with turning a deaf ear to their repeated complaints and pleas to pump out the dirty water.

The daylong blockade threw traffic into disarray. Vehicles from Garia and further south had to be diverted through Raja Subodh Chandra Mullick Road, creating a bottleneck at Garia.

Deputy superintendent of police (town) Humayun Kabir arrived with a police team and requested the agitators to withdraw. He was told that the blockade would continue till a permanent solution was arrived at.

Kabir then urged officials of the Metro Railway, irrigation department, Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) and the Calcutta Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority to send pumps to drain out the water. Ultimately, the CMC sent the pumps and work began on draining out the accumulated water.

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