Heavy rain and high tide could sink large parts of the city | Kolkata News

Kolkata: If high-speed wind wreaked havoc in Kolkata a year ago when Cyclone Amphan slammed into the city, it was the heavy rains brought by Cyclone Yaas, coupled with the highest tide in the year, Sarasari Baan, which threaten to flood large parts of Kolkata.
While the forecasted heavy rainfall is expected to be well above the maximum of 10mm per hour that the city’s drainage system can cope with, the timing of the Sarasari Baan on Buddha Purnima means that for several hours the drainage pumping stations will be unable to pump. water in the Hooghly at high tide.
“Large parts of North, Central and South Kolkata are likely to be flooded until the sluice gates along the Hooghly can be opened to drain stormwater,” a service official said. of civic drainage.
Although the civic body has adopted several measures to combat the severe waterlogging given the heavy to very heavy rains the cyclone could bring on Wednesday, none of these measures will be effective until the tide turns.
On Tuesday, high tide set in at 12:43 p.m. with a peak tide surge of 16.7 feet. Consequently, the lock gates were closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. With KMC and the irrigation department having to keep the gates closed from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, around the same time heavy rains are expected to hit Kolkata, flooding is inevitable.
“On Wednesday the maximum tidal surge will be 17.3 feet, which is 3 to 4 feet above normal tide height. As a precaution, we will be closing the lock gates for four hours and half to prevent water from flowing backwards into the city. If it pours during this time, flooding is inevitable. We will have no choice but to wait for the tide to calm down to then start the high-efficiency pumps to evacuate the rainwater,” the official said.
Running the pumps when the lock gates are closed will trigger a backflow and render the pumps inoperative.
A KMC drainage department official stationed at a central office in Kolkata said he was particularly concerned about flooding of large areas of Rabindra Sarani (Chitpore), Bagbazar, Burrabazar, Netaji Subhas Road, Strand Road, BBD Bag, Bhowanipore, Kalighat, Chetla, Alipore, Kidderpore and NSC Bose Road (Tollygunge), among others, due to their proximity to the Hooghly or Tolly’s Nullah.
With the electrocution of a youth on a waterlogged BBD Bag street still fresh on people’s minds, the civic brass take no chances and attempt to evacuate peddlers and residents from the BBD Bag sidewalks, Strand Road, Burrabazar and other areas closer to the river. “We keep submersible pumps ready in case we need them to drain stormwater from low lying areas after the locks are opened,” said an official from KMC’s sewerage and drainage department.
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