Monday, 30th October 2017

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Raw wounds of Red Road

Day 3: state of Calcutta

By The Telegraph in Calcutta
  • Published 23.05.20, 4:22 AM
  • Updated 23.05.20, 4:28 AM
  • a min read

Uprooted trees pockmark one flank of Red Road, one of the most picturesque and historical stretches of Calcutta, on Friday. Even three days after Cyclone Amphan struck, during which some of the debris has been cleared, the margins of the road bear the marks of the merciless assault.

On Thursday, the morning after Amphan struck, the trail of destruction along Red Road captured the calamity that befell south Bengal. The unbroken chain of twisted trees made the belt, facing Fort William, resemble a battlefield. In the Second World War, the majestic stretch was the landing ground for British fighter planes defending Calcutta.

The British fighter squadrons were called Hurricanes, a name that sounds ironical nearly 78 years later when Amphan launched little else but a devastating bombing run on a city Red Road had once helped protect.

Among the targets on Wednesday evening were the famed balustrades that flank Red Road. Parts of the balustrades were crushed by the trees that fell on Wednesday evening. In 1942, the ornamental balustrades had posed a challenge to the landing skills of the pilots. Occasional mishaps were reported but none similar to the consequences brought about by the cyclone now. 

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Photo Credit: Sanat Kr Sinha
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Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha
Photo Credit: Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha
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Photo Credit: Gautam Bose
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Photo Credit: Gautam Bose