The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Swirling waters spoil schedules

Bipasa Das of Salt Lake decided to visit her parents in Howrah on Tuesday and had a harrowing experience. She set out from home around 10.30 am and it took her nearly four hours to reach Howrah. “Almost all the roads were waterlogged. Huge trees, that had fallen after the rain, blocked the roads. To travel hardly 20 km, I took a rickshaw, bus, taxi and even a Tata Sumo that carried stranded passengers at an exorbitant rate.”

Thousands of commuters had a hard time reaching their destinations. Tuesday being the second day after Dashami, all educational institutions and many business establishments were still closed. However, as banks, government offices and other commercial establishments had opened on Monday, Tuesday’s rain caused tremendous hardship to office-goers.

Shyamal Chakraborty, director, Indian Museum, had to reach office by 10 am to attend an urgent meeting. “This is the first time in many years I have been late to work by more than one-and-a-half hours. I had left home by car from my New Alipore residence at 9.30 am sharp. I reached Chowringhee at 11.30 am,” said Chakraborty.

Unlike other days, Ajit Banik, chairman, West Bengal College Service Commission, had left his Baguiati residence for his office in Bhabani Dutta Lane at 9 am, an hour before usual. “Traffic came to a standstill on at least three places on my route — Dum Dum Park, Lake Town and Amherst Street.” The waterlogging on College Street went “beyond control” after 5.30 pm, and it took him more than an hour to cross the College Street-Mahatma Gandhi Road intersection.

Swapan Bhattacharya, who works in a bank in the Burrabazar area, was returning home on EM Bypass. “By the time I had left office at around 5.30 pm, the roads were deserted. I walked from Burrabazar to Sealdah, wading through knee-deep water. Finally, I managed to catch a bus. But whichever road it took — Christopher Road, Tangra or Topsia — was overflowing.”

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