Air, rail, road traffic hit in Bengal ahead of cyclone Remal's landfall

Air, rail, road traffic hit in Bengal ahead of cyclone Remal's landfall

Kolkata | The impending landfall of severe cyclone Remal has led to significant disruptions in air, rail, and road transportation in Kolkata and other parts of South Bengal on Sunday, with concerns expected to continue into Monday.

As a precaution, Kolkata airport authorities have suspended flight operations for 21 hours from Sunday noon. Additionally, the Eastern and South Eastern railways cancelled several trains.

Intermittent showers and gusty winds affected South Bengal districts from Sunday morning, leading to a noticeable absence of buses, taxis, and three-wheelers on the roads in Kolkata and district towns.

Disruptions in road and rail transport are anticipated on Monday, due to the effects of the cyclone's landfall, expected by midnight on Sunday.

A total of 394 flights — both international and domestic — will not operate during the flight suspension period, an Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said. This precautionary measure was taken after a meeting with stakeholders of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport, the official added.

"In view of Cyclone Remal's impact on the coastal region of West Bengal, including Kolkata, a meeting was held with stakeholders, and it was decided to suspend flight operations from noon on May 26 to 9 am on May 27 due to predicted heavy winds and heavy to very heavy rainfall in Kolkata," NSCBI airport director C Pattabhi said in a statement on Saturday.

The cyclonic storm is expected to make landfall by midnight on Sunday along the adjoining coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh, with wind speeds of 110-120 km per hour, gusting up to 135 kmph. The Met Office has warned of extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal on May 26-27.

The Eastern and South Eastern railways canceled some trains on routes to and from the coastal South and North 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur districts as a precautionary measure, officials said.

The Eastern Railway suspended train services in the Sealdah South section and Barasat-Hasnabad section of Sealdah division from 11 pm on Sunday to 6 am on Monday, cancelling several EMU local trains, an official said.

While five suburban trains were cancelled on Sunday, eight local trains will not operate on Monday morning, the Eastern Railway official said.

The South Eastern Railway cancelled the Howrah-Digha-Howrah Kandari Express on Sunday and some MEMU and EMU services to and from the seaside tourist town of Digha on Sunday and Monday, a zonal railway official said.

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