Heavy monsoon rains flooded Calcutta streets on Saturday. In the city, it did little more?
Heavy monsoon rains flooded Calcutta streets on Saturday. In the city, it did little more than disrupt traffic. But at the low-lying Sahara camp on the city outskirts, it brought new hardships, miseries and the threat of further disease to thousand of Est Pakistan refugees.
When Visnews cameraman Pre Prakash visited the camp he found floods swirling round water pumps bringing new fears of contamination to drinking supplies.
SYNOPSIS: Heavy monsoon rains brought flood-waters swirling through the streets of Calcutta on Saturday. By midday, nearly three-and-a-half inches (nine cms) of rain had fallen, and the weather fore-casters were predicting half as much again by evening -- the highest rainfall on any one day of the current monsoon season. The immediate result was to disrupt the city's traffic. Tram services were withdrawn and the city's vast eight-million population set about contending with knee-deep flood-water on many highways.
The real cause for anxiety was the effect the floods would have on the thousands of East Pakistan refugees still packing the Sahara camp on the city outskirts. Weeks earlier, state authorities had tried to close the camp partly because of its low-lying situation. Now the rain added to the hardships and miseries of the refugees, and once again intensified the threat of disease.
With flooding round many of the water pumps, there were fears that drinking supplies might become contaminated. Latest published figures place the number of cases of cholera and gastro-enteritis among all refugees in India at over twenty-five thousand. Over three-thousand six-hundred deaths have been reported.