Two canals that were supposed to drain out water from Kolkata’s eastern swathes are flowing at the level of the arterial roads running along them and have breached embankments at several places, flooding fresh areas.
The Bagjola canal is 38km long and carries water from BT Road in Kamarhati in the west to the Bidyadhari river in the east, cutting through Baranagar, Dum Dum, Lake Town and New Town.
The Kestopur canal stretches 14km, from the Chitpore lockgate to Rajarhat, where it meets the Bagjola canal.
The Telegraph travelled along the two canals to see the state they are in.
Ultadanga to Kestopur
The Kestopur canal has submerged the concrete walkway on both sides.
The canal, irrigation officials said, is flowing at 2.79-2.80m mark and more showers will lead to flooding of parts of VIP Road.
A section of walkways on the beautified banks opposite Alcove Gloria Mall in Sreebhumi was partially under water.
The banks of the canal between Kestopur and Ultadanga have been beautified at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore. Residents said the money could have been better spent on dredging the canal, which would have increased its capacity.
The Kestopur canal that runs along VIP Road is full to the brim, and in some places has spilled over. This is one of the canals that is supposed to drain water out from vast stretches of east and north Kolkata. Between Sunday night and Wednesday evening, this part of the city received around 250mm of rain. Lack of dredging, rampant dumping of waste and encroachments have compounded the crisis.Sanat Kr Sinha
Kestopur and Dum Dum Park
A stretch of the road that leads to Samarpally in Kestopur, off VIP Road in northeast Kolkata, has waist-to-knee deep water.
Shops and other structures jutted out into the Kestopur canal, whose banks were lined with garbage. A park along the canal was submerged.
A residential area comprising apartment blocks interspersed with gardens and freshly-tiled pavements had water gushing in from a breach in the embankment of the Bagjola canal, a 5-minute drive from Central Mall.
Some residents were spotted asking their caretakers to place sand-filled bags on the embankment to try and plug the breach but it made little difference.
Dev Kumar Mullick, a resident, said their underground reservoir had been under water since Sunday.
“The Bagjola canal is overflowing and we can do little to check the flow,” he said.
The banks on both sides of the canal are lined with shanties. Many are made of bricks and sit on concrete stilts emerging from the canal.
Residents said the structures were blocking the flow of the water. Waste dumped into the canal by residents of the shanties also add to the obstruction.
A stretch of the same canal inundated the Major Arterial Road extension, which leads to upscale complexes like Elita Garden Vista and Uniworld City.
Stalled cars were waiting to be towed out on the road leading to Elita Garden Vista.
“We arranged for extra pumps but it is an uphill task as the canals are full,” said Samaresh Das, a member of New Town Forum and News.