Torrential rain lashing Bhubaneswar for the past 48 hours paralysed life on Thursday. People were confined to their houses in the water-logged areas. Both train and bus passengers were stranded midway.
Relentless downpour in the forenoon and afternoon led to submergence stretches of arterial roads of the Capital city by storm water. Thousands of vehicles were found stranded bumper-to-bumper on the National Highway passing through the city. Traffic police personnel had to struggle to ease traffic snarls. Vehicles were stranded for an hour. Major traffic snarls were witnessed near the busy Acharya Vihar junction (road from Acharya Vihar to Vani Vihar).
Bhubaneswar received 140 mm rainfall between Wednesday morning and Thursday evening. Rainwater gushing from the upland areas inundated low-lying areas in the city. Some people who returned from offices in the afternoon were not able to reach their houses. Moreover, many were seen wading through waist-deep water in residential colonies.
Situation was precarious in Acharya Vihar near Science Park, Chindamaniswar, GGP Colony, and Jharpada.
There was no sign of relief in the evening hours. Well-marked low pressure over coastal Andhra Pradesh continued to have its impact.
Bhubaneswar railway station witnessed absolute chaotic situation with the East Coast Railway diverting 29 trains on alternative routes and cancelling three trains between Bhubaneswar and Palasa. Passengers waited for hours in the station with the train schedule going haywire.
“The down main line at Ichhapuram near Palasa on the Howrah-Chennai trunk route has been made functional (with restricted speed) after remaining suspended for train operations for more than 18 hours,” ECoR said in a statement. The UP line remains waterlogged and a decision on running trains would be taken after the rains subside.
ECoR Chief Public Relation Officer J. P. Mishra said, “Special patrol teams have been engaged round the clock at sensitive locations like bridges and cuttings to keep a sharp look out for rising water levels or any other issue involving train safety.”
Mr. Mishra said a large number of goods trains carrying coal to powerhouses would also be affected as priority would be given to running of express and passenger trains. Passengers waiting at Baramunda Bus Terminal in Bhubaneswar had a terrible time. Bus operators were uncertain about running buses as reports kept pouring in that some roads were submerged.