Calcutta woke up to waterlogged streets and traffic snarls yet again on Monday. Heavy overnight rain and a downpour in the morning submerged several streets. From 11.30am on Sunday to 11.30am on Monday, 183mm rainfall was recorded — hardly any justification for the kind of waterlogging that paralysed the city.
The waterlogged streets of the model township claimed a life on Monday morning.
Sudhanshu Shekhar Das, 42, was electrocuted in DD block when his rickshaw got entangled in a live electrical wire. Sudhanshu was ferrying Manjari Mondal to an institute in DD Block for an exam, when his rickshaw came to a halt on a waterlogged stretch.
He promptly hopped off to find out what had gone wrong. It was then that he accidentally touched a live wire of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company that had snapped in the rain and fallen to the waterlogged street below. Sudhanshu fell into the water and died.
Manjari, a resident of Burdwan who stays in a ladies’ hostel in Baguiati, went into a state of shock and sat still on the rickshaw, unable to cry out for help. When some passersby realised something was wrong and approached the rickshaw, Manjari managed to warn them about the live wire.
Police were called in and they placed wooden benches alongside the rickshaw to rescue the passenger.
Sudhanshu’s wife and two teenaged children live in Patharpratima, South 24-Parganas. He had rented a room in Duttabad to earn a livelihood in Salt Lake.
This is where the government machinery broke down — in more ways than one. A ‘Government of India’ jeep came to a halt, forcing occupants to step into knee-deep water and push the vehicle to one side. There were stalled cars and stranded people everywhere on Central Avenue.
Studies suffered the same fate as piety as the waves rolled into Calcutta University, Presidency College and Thanthania Kalibari. The mood on campus was, however, buoyant. Some boys and girls made a splash, others hung around for adda. Book shops were a casualty.
This key crossroad was marked by traffic snarls in knee-deep water. It took close to an hour to reach the Hudco crossing from the Kankurgachhi roundabout. Every road from Kankurgachhi to the Bypass was submerged.
If Kankurgachhi was bad, Ultadanga was ugly. The bottleneck at the VIP Road crossing was bad. Van-rickshaws were the only reliable mode of transport, making quite a killing.
Camac Street was under Maruti 800-high water. Marooned office-goers were at the mercy of rickshaw-pullers.
No surprises here. Behala and Thakurpukur were among the worst-hit.
On Diamond Harbour Road, pedestrians had to wade through waist-deep water.
The traffic was moving in slow motion.
Basundhara Park was an island, with residents resorting to a boat ride to reach land. Most schools in the Behala belt were forced shut.