Floods cut off rail-road connectivity with north Bengal

Floods cut off rail-road connectivity with north Bengal

Rail and road connectivity between the northern West Bengal districts and the rest of the state continued to be cut off on Monday as flash flood and landslides due to incessant rains inundated roads and railway tracks.
Thousands of passengers were stranded at several important state railway stations like New Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Malda as heavy rainfall since the last 72 hours severely hampered the train services of Northeast Frontier Railway, compelling the authorities to suspend the train services to the northeast from the rest of the country till Wednesday.
"Railway Board has decided to cancel all incoming trains from various parts of the country towards NE Region which were to reach either Katihar or Malda Town till 10 a.m. on August 16," Northeast Frontier Railway chief public relations officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said in a press release.
Several trains including Sealdah Teesta Torsa Express, Sealdah Uttar Banga Express, Sealdah Kanchan Kanya Express and Darjeeling Mail that connects North Bengal with the state capital Kolkata, have also been cancelled on Monday.
The railway authorities said additional counters have been opened at many stations, which are working round the clock to refund the tickets to the affected passengers.
Meanwhile the bus service between Kolkata and Siliguri in North Bengal has come to a standstill as a large part of the National Highway 34 that connects north and south Bengal, went partially underwater in North Dinajpur district's Dalkhola.
The connecting bridge between National Highway 34 and National Highway 31 has been flooded forcing several goods vehicles to get stuck in the region.
"No buses could ply between Kolkata and Siliguri on Monday as the roads got partially flooded due to heavy rains. A bus left for Raigunj from Siliguri in the morning but had to turn back from midway. We have suspended bus service between north Bengal and Kolkata," said Bikash Das, Siliguri divisional manager of North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC).
"The roads in north Dinajpur district's Bilaspur have gone partially under water. Thousands of trucks and goods vehicles are stuck on the road. That's why plying the buses would be impossible," he said.
Some parts of NH80 that connects West Bengal with Jharkhand via road are also flood-stricken in Murshidabad district cutting of the interstate road connectivity.
The private bus service is partially active between Kolkata and Malda but all the buses towards Siliguri and Cooch Behar have been cancelled, inconveniencing commuters.
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