Kolkata diary: Viral fever grips city after dengue

With the onset of winter, bicycle clubs of Kolkata have started taking short group rides on weekends to destinations close to the city.

Published: 02nd December 2017 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2017 07:41 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

Bicycle rides, ahoy!

With the onset of winter, bicycle clubs of Kolkata have started taking short group rides on weekends to destinations close to the city. Most notably, wetlands in the eastern fringes and banks of the city’s lifeline, Hooghly, in southwestern Kolkata. Besides the usual fun rides, many of these clubs are promoting cycling
as an eco-friendly mode of transportation as well as a way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, bicycles are not allowed on the main roads in major parts of the eastern metropolis.

Bye bye dengue, welcome viral fever

While dengue cases have decreased in the city over the past fortnight, a large number of Kolkata residents have been afflicted with viral fever due to the sudden change in weather induced by rains. So, while long queues at government hospitals have reduced, the queues at private clinics and pharmacies have grown substantially. But despite the viral fever wave, smiles are back on the faces of Kolkatans. Such was the impact of dengue scare in the city!

Thukpa, anyone?

Besides the delectable momos that Kolkatans crave for at Park Street, another Tibetan cuisine that has grabbed their attention after the dip in mercury is the traditional soupy noodles or thukpa. Savoured with beef, pork or chicken, thukpa has now climbed down from the northern parts of West Bengal and Sikkim to the Gangetic plains in south Bengal. It has already made a place for itself in the heart of Kolkatans, many of who make time after the office hours to fill their stomach with the noodles before catching the metro back home.

East-west Metro back on tracks

While Hyderabadis enjoyed their first ride on the swanky new Metro in their city, even Kolkatans had a reason to rejoice —completion of underground drilling for a crucial leg of the east-west Metro that passes underneath architecturally important buildings of the central business district of Esplanade. While the underwater tunnel beneath the Hooghly was completed a few months ago, the crucial Metro line linking the underground network from the Hooghly bank with the existing north-south Metro had been a struggle. Reason: The slow progress of work not only due to the presence of centuries-old heritage buildings, but also problems in land acquisition for building of the ‘Mahakaran’ Metro Station at the central BBD Bag Square. Optimistic Kolkatans can now only hope that the east-west metro line will be operational soon.

Aishik Chanda

Our correspondent in West Bengal

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