Thousands thronged puja pandals to make the most of Maha Ashtami, the most auspicious day in the five-day Durga puja, with anxious glances being cast at the sky as the weatherman forecast rain because of a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal.
Meteorological Office has predicted rain and thundershowers for the next 24 hours in the city and the adjoining areas. The maximum temperature will likely to remain around 32 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature around 26.
The deep depression lay about 60 km southeast off Puri in Orissa, Met officials said. “Squally winds with speed reaching up to 55-65 kmph will occur along and off the coast till Saturday morning,” an official said.
Heavy rains have been predicted for coastal districts — East Midnapore, West Midnapore, North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas. With the sea likely to be rough along and off the coast fishermen were advised not to venture out.
“There were areas where in the city where we received more rainfall but according to the reading at Alipore Meteorolgical office, the rainfall recorded on Thursday was 24 mm — the highest rainfall on Maha Saptami in last five years,” said H L Biswas of Alipore Meteorological Centre.
Organisers are a worried lot. “We are hoping that the forecast does not come true as we have spent months decorating our pandal modelled on a temple in South India,” said Ashish Mukherjee, patron of a puja committee in south Kolkata.