Police have written to Kolkata Municipal Corporation engineers asking them why water continues to accumulate in parts of Loudon Street, Camac Street, Rawdon Street, Lower Rawdon Street and Syed Amir Ali Avenue after a brief spell of sharp rain despite repairs.
Senior police officers said waterlogging in these neighbourhoods continued to throw up challenges in managing traffic in an area congested and dotted with schools.
The spiralling effect of traffic slowing down in the belt is felt in faraway areas as well and it is allegedly happening even after not-so-heavy rain.
“The spillover effect of traffic congestion is being felt in pockets some 500m away from the point of accumulation of water on these thoroughfares,” said a senior officer.
“Motorists tend to avoid streets that are waterlogged and during peak school hours things become very difficult.”
A brief but heavy spell of rain on August 31 had left parts of Park Street, Theatre Road, Camac Street and Rawdon Street under knee-deep water.
While the water drained out gradually, some pockets like Lower Rawdon Street remained waterlogged for several hours.
In May, civic engineers replaced the underground pipe that carries water from Lower Rawdon Street to AJC Bose Road in an attempt to resolve the waterlogging problem.
A traffic block was taken for a few days at a stretch and a bigger underground pipe, of 2ft diameter, was placed to ensure faster drainage of storm water in the area, where former cricketer Sourav Ganguly owns a newly acquired property.
Ganguly had written to mayor Firhad Hakim in January: “You are aware that I have bought a property situated at 8/1A Lower Rowdon Street.... I am writing this letter to bring to your notice the present situation of the drainage of this area. With the present drainage system of the locality a good shower results in enormous waterlogging in the entire area.”
The repairs had been undertaken after the former Team India skipper’s prod.
“Even after the repairs, nothing much has changed. Water continues to accumulate slowing down traffic after one spell of rain,” an officer in charge of traffic in the area said.
A section of civic engineers from the KMC’s drainage and sewerage department said they have initiated an inspection to find out why water continues to drain out slowly.
“This pocket is like a bowl that attracts water from adjoining areas. When the AJC Bose Road flyover was built, some parts underground were damaged,” said a borough VIII engineer of the KMC.
“We will not be able to take up any repair work during the monsoon. Let the dry spell begin, we will start work after getting an underground inspection report,” he said.
Engineers said the underground drainage network between Park Street, Short Street, Loudon Street, Theatre Road and AJC Bose Road was split between pipes and British-era brick sewerage. Water takes time to move because of a mix of pipelines of different diametres.
An engineer, however, said: “The drainage time is not remarkably long like, say, in Mumbai or Chennai. The police have a tendency to put up ‘No-Entry’ boards even if there is ankle-deep water.”