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Warning of wet weekend

The weatherman on Friday warned of a wet weekend, with heavy rainfall predicted over the next 48 hours.

On a day that saw 76.8mm of rainfall (till 5.30pm) render the city waterlogged and chaotic, the Alipore Met office said there was “massive build-up of moisture” over Gangetic Bengal since Thursday evening, caused by a strong cyclonic circulation over the Bengal coast touching Bangladesh.

“There is also a trough of low pressure, extending from Muzaffarpur to the Bay of Bengal across Asansol, and Calcutta. This trough, too, is sucking in moisture from the Bay of Bengal. Under the impact of the two atmospheric systems, we expect plenty of rain over the next 48 hours,” said G.C. Debnath, the director of the weather section at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore.

Met officials warned of a low pressure forming over north-west Bay of Bengal by Saturday. “If it moves northwards into Gangetic Bengal, we expect very heavy rain in some parts. The coastal districts will bear the brunt,” they said.

This is bad news for a city that struggled through a Friday of damp disruption, as a steady drizzle and a few sharp showers left several stretches waterlogged and almost every thoroughfare traffic-clogged.

The rainfall over 24 hours was nothing compared to the morning of July 3, when it had rained 160mm in five hours, but large parts of north, central and east Calcutta went under ankle-deep water.

Kalabagan, MM Burman Street, Muktaram Babu Street, Pataldanga Street, Paikpara, Beleghata, Gobra, Topsia and Sridhar Roy Road were the worst hit.

“The water, however, receded in most parts. We are lucky that the intensity of the rain was not much, except for one shower,” said a Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) official.

The rains were enough to stop Circular Railway services between Bagbazar and Majherhat from 8.40am to 10.30am, with the tracks near Mullickghat station being submerged.

The Met office on Friday alerted the government about the possibility of heavy showers over the weekend and the government relayed the warning to the CMC.

“We have alerted our 18 pumping stations. We are ready to press all our 94 pumps into service,” said Tushar Ghosh, civic chief engineer (drainage and sewerage).

According to Ghosh, executive engineers of the CMC would man the control room on Sunday. “We have also asked employees of the drainage department to be in office in the event of heavy rain on Sunday,” he added.

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