Torrential rain disrupted life in Durgapur-Asansol

Heavy torrential rain disrupted life in the industrial belt of Durgapur-Asansol on Saturday and Sunday (5th and 6th September 2013). Besides chocking the civic life on the eve of “Durgapuja”, the incessant heavy rain created a virtual flood like situation.

Opened water gate at the Durgapur Barrage
Opened water gate at the Durgapur Barrage

It started raining heavily with frequent lightning at around 6 pm on 5 September (Saturday) and continued till 1 am the next day. Though there was no rain throughout the day, but it again started at around 4 pm on 6 September (Sunday). Though severity of the rain got somewhat less by 8 pm, but it continued to rain till mid night.

Widespread water logging was reported from across the twin towns of Durgapur-Asansol. Three persons were struck by lightning in Durgapur town while travelling in an auto-rickshaw and were shifted to a nursing home with critical burn injuries.

The link road that connects the Durgapur Steel Plant with the township remained under at least 3 feet of water throughout the night. Even Ambuja Housing Colony at the heart of the City Centre of Durgapur remained under water. Transport service has been affected severely.

Even Durgapur Steel Plant witnessed water logging. The out-gate of the plant had to be closed down and workers coming out of the DSP main gate were diverted to use the in-gate. Even production in SAIL’s Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) and all other industrial units of Durgapur were badly affected. The mills of DSP like the Rolling Mill, Skelp Mill, Wheel & Axle Plant, went under water as the adjoining Tamla River inflated. The production of those units besides the raw materials handling plant had to be shut down due to major inundation.

The chief of communication, DSP, Mr. B R Kanungo told reporters: “The restoration work is going on and we have hired water pumps from outside to restore normalcy in the plant.” The plant is yet to assess the extent of financial loss due to the downpour.

The pandals in major locations in the industrial zone either collapsed or got partly
damaged due to the rains followed by heavy wind. All the Durgapuja organizers of Durgapur and Asansol belt are in a spot of serious bother as to whether they will be able to meet the puja deadline of 9th September.

Incidence of subsidence occurred at a number of places in Raniganj coalfields due to heavy downpour. At Nabagram village in Pandaveswar PS area subsidence occurred in a domestic quarter in which a 66-year-old woman Sajida Sheikh sank down the subsided cave and was rescued later by the villagers at around 11 pm.

Her son Mr. Khalil Sheikh said: “It was raining heavily and we all were sleeping when the floor of my mother’s room collapsed. We heard her screaming and rushed in to help.” Last week a girl was a victim of subsistence in Sanktoria area of Asansol. Her body was recovered after two days.

The Durgapur Municipal Corporation yesterday held an urgent disaster-management meeting. Mr. Apurba Mukherjee, Mayor said: “Most of the roads are submerged and a few localities went under water. The road link to the Angadpur industrial zone also has collapsed heavily causing inconvenience to the secondary steel units here.”

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