The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Depressing news from Met office
- Threat of rain, but Orissa coast may bear brunt

Calcutta, Sept. 28: A week after a depression caused a deluge in Calcutta and south Bengal, another formed in the Bay of Bengal this afternoon casting a shadow on the Pujas.

The Met office warned of isolated heavy to very heavy rain in the region in the next 48 hours.

“The well-marked low pressure intensified into a depression around 2.30 pm today and it lies about 350 km southeast of Paradip. We expect isolated heavy to very heavy rain in Gangetic West Bengal, including Calcutta,” said J.V.M. Naidu, deputy director general at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore.

The Met office has alerted the state government, struggling to control the impact of floods in over a dozen south Bengal districts.

The alert has already soured the festive spirit among civic employees. Municipal commissioner Alapan Bandopadhyay said the leave of all employees in the drainage and lighting departments had been cancelled.

Naidu said the depression was showing a tendency of moving towards the Orissa coast. “But we have to watch and see in which direction and how fast it moves finally.”

Met officials said that according to the nature of the depression till this evening,it is expected to hit the Orissa coast by tomorrow evening or night. “Unlike last week’s depression, this one is not stationary,” said an official.

Met officials caught the first hint of a low pressure on the radar on Tuesday. “From then on we realised that it had the potential to intensify,” said an official.

The officials held out the hope that if the depression crossed over to Orissa, the intensity of rains in Calcutta and the rest of Gangetic Bengal would be less.

“If the depression shifts course and heads towards Bengal, God help us. The Pujas will be ruined,” an official said.

Some Puja organisers have taken precautions after last week’s rains. “We have stocked bags of sand and sawdust. Our idol is at least five feet above the ground,” said Rabin Ganguly of Tarun Sangha in Dum Dum Park.

Organisers of Badamtala Ashar Sangha off Rashbehari crossing were worried because the idol has to be viewed from open space. “We have some shelters around the pandal, but what will happen if it is a repeat of last week'” wondered Soumen Majumdar, the joint secretary of the club.

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