Teenager electrocuted as heavy showers throw Kolkata life off gear

Kolkata, Aug 8 (IANS) A teenager got electrocuted and harried commuters had to negotiate waterlogged streets and traffic snarls as life was thrown out of gear in the city following heavy monsoon showers on Monday evening.

The off-and-on drizzle witnessed in the city since Monday morning increased its ferocity between 5 and 6 p.m., uprooting trees and branches which blocked important thoroughfares.

“While the city recorded 38.3 mm rains over 24 hours till 5 p.m., there was a spate of heavy shower measuring 38 mm, mainly between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.,” said an official at the Regional Meteorological Centre here.

A teenager studying in class 8 died after he accidentally touched an electric fuse on waterlogged Ramesh Mitra Road in south Kolkata’s Bhowanipore, police and eye-witnesses said.

Commuters, including people returning from offices, faced the brunt of the rains as many of the areas in the south and central Kolkata went under ankle-deep to waist-high water.

A tram stood still in the Ballygugne area as the tracks were submerged under water. Buses, mini buses, taxis could not move or crawled at a snail’s pace.

The important Short Street close to the landmark St. Xavier’s College was blocked after a tree was uprooted.

In south Kolkata, Jodhur Park recorded 104 mm rains, while the figure registered in the Chetla area was 90 mm.

“We have received reports of areas like Southern Avenue, Ballygunge and Theatre Road going under water,” said Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor-in-Council member Tarak Singh.

All KMC mayor-in-council members rushed to the headquarters to monitor the situation.

“All KMC pumps are being operated. In some areas, branches of trees fell causing obstructions,” said an official manning the KMC control room.

However, the city police said there were no reports of any injuries.

The Met department said the rains were caused by a cyclonic formation over Bay of Bengal adjacent to the Southern Bengal districts and centred in the Sundarbans region. It was likely to gain in strength and develop into a depression over the next 24 hours.

Consequently, most districts in southern Bengal are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours.

–IANS

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