Several areas in Siliguri were waterlogged and normal life came to a grinding halt as torrential rainfall lashed the subdivision for the past 24 hours until afternoon today. Many people were affected as the rain water entered their houses, and portions of some embankments were breached in the Matigara and Kharibari blocks.
The downpour left several areas in the town, including Wards 1, 26, 31, 32, 35, 37, 40, and 46 under the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC), and some parts of Shiv Mandir, Sahudangi and Fulbari on the outskirts, water-logged, inconveniencing thousands of people. Many people preferred to remain indoors, while the number of vehicles plying on the roads was less.
According to the irrigation and waterways department, Siliguri received 211.8 mm of rainfall in the past 24 hours.
Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad Sabhadhipati Tapas Sarkar said breaches were spotted in embankments. “The Matigara block has been largely affected by waterlogging. The breach of an embankment was found under the Matigara-II gram panchayat and erosion is also taking place, and some portions of the Bhagirathi embankment at Uttar Ramdhan under the Kharibari block has been breached. The water, however, started receding in the afternoon. We are reviewing the situation. According to rough assessment, there could be losses of property worth around Rs 20-22 crore in the rural areas,” Mr Sarkar said after visiting the affected areas.
Meanwhile, the Jorapani river flowing through Ward 37 has been flooded and ward councillors visited the wards to review the situation there. “We visited many wards, especially those that have been affected. Water has entered the rooms in many wards, and the level has reached just below the beds. Many people could not cook food. The conservancy services have collapsed, and there was no mechanism to flush out the rainwater,” said the leader of the Opposition at the SMC, Ranjan Sarkar.
Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya, who was in Kolkata to attend a party meeting, rushed to the town to assess the situation leaving the meeting midway. “Since yesterday, around 233 mm rainfall has been recorded in Siliguri. There has been 1600 mm of rainfall this month till today. However, water started receding within two hours, but there was water-logging at some areas in wards 31, 32 and 46. Roads, drains, and water pipelines have been damaged. There could be losses of around Rs 10- 15 crore. The councillors distributed cooked food with the Councillors’ Local Area Development Funds to the affected persons,” Mr Bhattacharya said.
He said two special emergency teams of the civic body will be pressed into service.