Siliguri, Oct. 9: North Bengal is likely to experience clear, sunny days during Durga Puja as the monsoon is expected to recede from north Bengal around October 15, weather officials said today.
The region may get heavy rainfall before the retreat. “A spell of rain will occur around October 15 when the monsoon is expected to retreat from north Bengal and Sikkim. The weather will be clear and sunny after that with only light rain in some places. Any shower after October 15 will be caused by local weather phenomenon and not the retreating monsoon,” said G.N. Raha, in-charge of the Met office in Gangtok.
Cloudy weather and showers before the festivities have been worrying Puja organisers and businessmen.
Since 7am today, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Sikkim and Darjeeling hills received bouts of rainfall.
Siliguri alone received 50mm rainfall between 7am and 5.30pm today.
“We are supposed to complete the pandals before October 19 (Panchami). We are putting up a huge pandal with intricate decorations. Painting and fitting of lights are still left. But we had to stop work today because of the rain. If it continues to rain like this, we will not be able to complete the pandal on time,” said Rajiv Sarkar, a club member from Pradhannagar.
“We are also worried that less people will visit our pandal if it rains during the Puja,” he added.
Few shoppers stepped out because of the damp weather today.
“The weeks ahead of Puja are the busiest times for us because buyers from Siliguri and the surrounding areas throng our shops. But today, the footfall was considerably low in our shops because of the rain. We are worried. If it rains like this, our business will suffer,” Badal Guha, a garment shop owner at Siliguri’s Bidhan Market, said.
Weathermen said the wet spell is because of an upper air trough that is hovering over the region and its effect will last for the next 24 hours.
“Widespread rainfall over sub-Himalayan Bengal and Sikkim is because of an upper air trough passing over the region. It has been raining since morning but the wet spell is likely to remain for another 24 hours,” said Raha.