| The flooded RG Baruah Road in Guwahati on Sunday after the downpour. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Oct. 6: If the heavy rain in the past 24 hours has made you apprehensive about weather during Durga Puja, here is good news.
Met officials here said rain is unlikely during Puja beginning on Thursday.
“Going by the weather pattern, the easterly and northeasterly winds have started blowing which means that rain should disappear by October 8. If there is no sudden change in weather pattern, Durga Puja is likely to be rain-free,” an official of the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) told this correspondent today.
Heavy downpour across Assam in the past 24 hours has not only drenched shoppers and pandal makers but also left people worried about rain god playing spoilsport during the festival.
Overnight rain in Guwahati left many streets waterlogged while a landslide triggered by rain killed a 75-year-old person living on Botahghuli hill in the city’s Panjabari area.
“A big rock slid down and crushed the house of Mon Bahadur Rai around 12.45pm. He was staying alone and died before we reached the spot,” Panbazar (Guwahati) station in-charge of the state disaster response force, R.C. Bhakat, said.
Major roads connecting Guwahati and Shillong and GNB Road remained under water for hours affecting traffic. Puja shopping that was on in full swing in the markets here was affected as rain continued till 1pm today. People, however, started crowding the malls and markets as the rain stopped.
The weather official said according to the present cyclonic circulation, isolated rain will continue in parts of Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh till Tuesday but rain is likely to disappear gradually. “There is no indication of similar heavy rain that we have witnessed in the past 24 hours ahead of Durga Puja,” the official said.
The campus of the official quarters of MLAs in Dispur was also waterlogged because of heavy rain.
Apart from the state capital, major towns in lower Assam—Rangiya (92mm), Dhubri (74.8mm), Goalpara (76mm) and Kokrajhar (84mm) reported heavy rain in the past 24 hours, leaving Puja organisers across Assam worried.
“We just pray to god that there is no more rain so that we can prepare according to our plans,” said an organiser of Latasil Durga Puja here. Upper Assam towns of Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Tezpur (central Assam), however, witnessed less rainfall.
Artisans like Pranesh Paul of Panbazar, busy in adding finishing touches to idols, also looked worried. “At least five days of good sunlight is required for idols to dry. But rain in the past few days has affected work. We are using electric heaters to dry up idols, but heater cannot be a replacement of proper sunshine,” Paul said.