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South Bengal reeling under heat wave

PTI | Last Updated: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 19:21

Kolkata: The southern districts of West Bengal are reeling under a heat wave accompanied by dry wind, causing immense discomfort to candidates and party activists campaigning for Lok Sabha election, as the weather Gods seemed to be in no hurry to relent in the next few days.

"The heatwave will continue in south Bengal for at least the next two days," regional Met director G C Debnath said here on Thursday.

The metropolis recorded a maximum of 41.1 degrees Celsius today, a departure of six degrees from normal, while the lowest temperature hovered around 28 degrees, which is three degrees more than average.

At Sriniketan in the western district of Birbhum, the highest temperature recorded was 42 degrees Celsius and if the forecast holds true, it will rise to 44 degrees within a few days.

People in the districts of Bankura, Purulia, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Howrah and South 24-Parganas remained mostly indoor during the day with roads and market places wearing a deserted look.

This unusually hot and desert-like weather in the Gangetic plains has caused misery to the candidates for the Lok Sabha elections as well as their campaigners.

These districts would go to polls in the next three phases in Bengal on April 30, May 7 and May 12.

Campaign hours had to be modified and curtailed by most as they could hardly find anyone outside their homes or other shelters during the day to listen to their speeches.

The candidates, quite a few of whom are cine stars or people from the city, are finding it difficult to cope with the demands and pressure of reaching out to people in their constituencies in the sweltering heat.

While actress Moon Moon Sen is fighting from one of the hottest places in Bengal, Bankura, Tollywood hero Deb and actress Sandhya Roy are fighting from two seats in West Midnapore district, where temperatures have been hovering above the 40 degree mark.

The likes of musician Bappi Lahiri, actors George Baker, Satabdi Roy and journalist-turned politician Chandan Mitra are also in the fray from different seats in south Bengal.

Nor`westers, which are common during the onset of summer in Bengal, have vanished this year as there has been very little moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal owing to winds blowing from Chota Nagpur region.

Incidentally, the temperatures in Bikaner, Jaisalmer or Jodhpur in Rajasthan have not yet crossed the 37 degrees Celsius mark and the nights are also much cooler and comfortable compared to the much-greener south Bengal.

"This is due to regular rains in Rajasthan owing to western disturbance, while in Bengal there has not been any rains this summer so far as there is very little moisture incursion," Debnath said, explaining the peculiar difference in prevailing weather between Bengal and Rajasthan.

First Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 19:21

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