|(Top): A resident of Bangur Avenue, with bag and baggage, deserts her home in waist-deep water on Wednesday. (Above): A Big Bazaar employee, with microphone, invites people to place grocery orders in the same area. Pictures by Pradip Sanyal
The downpour stopped 48 hours ago, but the suffering isn’t over for many Calcuttans, especially those in the north-east and the south-west. Some snapshots from across the city:
Bangur Avenue-Lake Town
Dead cats floating in the water, cars submerged up to the headlights, the elderly wading through dirty water for a drop to drink…
The level of water has barely gone down a couple of inches on Bangur Avenue in 36 hours and the residents are leaving en masse. Those who have stayed back are forced to do without drinking water and electricity.
“Our elected representatives have failed us. Somebody please help,” cried Sushila Bajoria, from her second-floor balcony in B block of Bangur.
All shops, medicine stores included, are shut in the area since Sunday.
It’s not much better in Lake Town. Block B is badly affected, and those who live on the ground floor have moved out.
Finance minister Asim Dasgupta said the Calcutta Municipal Corporation had been asked to use two heavy-duty pumps to clear waterlogging in the area, for which one flank of VIP Road was shut.
“The area is inundated because the Bagjola and Kestopur canals are overflowing. This has caused severe waterlogging on Dum Dum Road and in Rajarhat,” explained Anup Mitra, a chairman-in-council member of South Dum Dum Municipality.
The water level has crept down in Ultadanga but van-rickshaws remain the primary mode of transport.
Most shops in Kankurgachhi remained closed for the third consecutive day. Those who raised shutters were in for a shock: the water had destroyed stocks.
Two pumps will be used at night in this area too, said the finance minister.
Fishermen Tapu and Rahul of Behala’s Rabindranagar caught a week’s quota of tilapia in the submerged neighbourhood on Wednesday.
The knee-deep water kept students away from school. After staying home for two days, Tarun Chanda of Kshetra Mohan Street waded to school to find that very few teachers and students had turned up. “It was a holiday, even though it hasn’t rained for more than a day,” said Tarun.
Local trader Birendra Sahu said: “Many streets were being repaired before the rain started. Dug-up streets and waterlogged streets are bad enough separately. Together, they are impossible to tackle.”