The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Flood-like spectre over south and east

A flood-like situation persists in the eastern and southern parts of the city. A vast area along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass including Topsia, Tiljala and Kasba and most of the low-lying areas of Behala and Garden Reach are under knee-deep water on the fourth day of intermittent rain. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated.

On the other hand, much of the standing water in Bhowanipore and Ballygunge receded after Wednesday midnight, with the dismantling of a penstock gate, constructed after the floods of 1978, off Park Street. Civic engineers used a payloader to haul out the gate, as 25 years of neglect had rendered it inoperative. The broken gate offered a bypass channel to the water that had submerged south Calcutta, following the collapse of a brick sewer under AJC Bose Road, said mayoral council member (drainage and sewerage) Mala Roy.

In east Calcutta, the situation took a turn for the worse on Thursday, as the borough assistant engineer and sub-assistant were on leave and there was nobody to supervise drainage operations. Along the Bypass, from the Ananda Margi headquarters till Ruby General Hospital, and Baishnabghata remained under knee-deep water.

According to local CPM councillor Amal Majumdar, in the absence of any help from the civic body, residents of Hossainpur, VIP Nagar and Baishnabghata Patuli swung into the act, along with 10 hired labourers, to clean the blocked sewerlines. Trinamul Congress mayoral council member Javed Ahmed Khan said more than 3,000 residents of Purba Abasan government housing estate, near Tiljala police station, were marooned for the past four days under five-ft-deep water, though they had deposited Rs 17 lakh to the drainage department in 2000 for improved facilities.

Seventeen wards (nos. 115 to 132) of Behala remain water-bound as the Hooghly is in spate. Borough chairman Anjan Das said run-off water from this area drains into the Hooghly. But backflow from the river is driving the water right back.

In Garden Reach, sewerline blocks have marooned 20,000 people of Akra Road, Kesoram Mill Lane, Masjid Talao, Paharpur Road and Dewan Bagan.

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