Rain helps in lockdown in north Bengal

Rain helps in lockdown in north Bengal
Steady rain in most districts of north Bengal since Friday morning came as a relief for the administration as the showers and the resultant waterlogging kept people indoors in the containment zones.

As part of a plan to ensure strict enforcement of the lockdown, policemen and civic volunteers were posted at the entry points of the zones which were barricaded.

“Our men were there to ensure that people did not move out of their homes other than for emergencies. The steady rain helped as people remained indoors,” said a senior police officer in Siliguri.

According to the officer, the police detained some people, who had defied the lockdown, but, in most cases, the offenders were sent back home.

Similar was the situation in other districts, including Malda, the district that has recorded close to 1,000 Covid-19 cases, the highest in any district of north Bengal.

“It is good that it rained throughout the day. During the lockdown, we have seen how a section of people loiter in the streets without proper reasons. Despite efforts by the police and administration to keep them inside, some of them always try to slip out of their homes. The rainfall

has kept many of them indoors,” said Subhamoy Basu, a former Trinamul councillor in Malda.

Since Friday early morning, it rained throughout north Bengal and also in the neighbouring state of Sikkim. Met office sources said it rained over 100mm in a number of places, particularly in the Dooars. They include Malbazar (143mm), Hasimara (110mm), Samsing (213mm), Jaldhakar (165mm), Neora (117mm) and Jhalong (248mm).

The rainfall, both in the hills and plains, led to rise in the water levels of most rivers, including the Teesta.

In Sikkim, a high alert has been sounded in Singtam of East district following a steady rise in the water levels of Teesta.

“People living in low-lying areas are at risk. Though there hasn’t been any evacuation, emergency workers have been kept ready in the area,” said a source. 

Also, in the downstream, the irrigation department of Bengal has sounded a red (secondary) alert in the unprotected areas on both banks of Teesta from Domohoni (near Jalpaiguri) and till Mekhliganj (where the river enters Bangladesh).

“People living close to the banks have been asked to shift to safer places. Also, in protected areas (where there are embankments), a yellow (primary) alert has been sounded,” said Abhishek Tiwary, DM, Jalpaiguri.

The rainfall has also caused waterlogging in some of the areas of Jalpaiguri town, leaving hundreds of residents amid inconvenience.

Weather experts, who had earlier hinted about the downpour, said there is a forecast of more rainfall in the region during next three days, starting from Saturday.

“In some places, it may rain around 200mm or even more. People should be on alert,” said a weather expert.

Three dead

Three farmers died at Runia village under Raiganj police station of North Dinajpur and eight others got injured as they were struck by lightning on Friday afternoon. Sources said all of them were planting paddy seedlings when the incident occurred. Among the injured, six have been admitted at a local health centre while the remaining two have been shifted to RGMCH.


Steady rain in most districts of north Bengal since Friday morning came as a relief for the administration as the showers and the resultant waterloggi

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