The country is grappling with the effects of the deadly coronavirus and it was struck by the devastating super cyclone, Amphan. Though it was more localized, but the after-effects of the cyclone has left many totally shattered dues to loss of human lives, property, and resources. The state of West Bengal is one of the worst-hit locations and there has been widespread damage.
One area which has been thoroughly destroyed is College Street in Kolkata, which is considered as the biggest book market in Asia. First, they faced the brunt of the lockdown when there were hardly any purchasers, and now there is massive damage of books due the heavy rainfall.
College Street has a humongous collection of books from different eras, genres, authors and even from all across the globe. It is like a haven for book lovers, publishers and for anyone who loves to read and write. But, the place has been totally ravaged by the recent cyclone.
The Publishers and Booksellers Guild have given out heartbreaking details of the overall damage. Books that were kept in the storerooms have been totally soiled and needs to be simply discarded. Small book stalls have been almost uprooted and sellers have incurred losses in lakhs. It might run into crores if the water starts seeping into book bindings, kept in volumes. Water has also seeped through closed shutters of the shops, damaging the goods inside. Many booksellers have lost their sole source of income and wondering how to revive from the situation. The stock in their closed shops is totally nonreusable.
Established way back in 1867, this place has an enriched past and historic importance in the cultural and literary scenario of Bengal. Many are left teary-eyed looking at the fate of this place. Hopefully this place will revive from this devastation over a period of time. But, people are in two minds as to whether it will regain its past glory and charm all over again.
This is not the only devastating sight in Bengal, the aftermath of Amphan has been acute in many places. Though there was an evacuation done when the warning of the cyclone surfaced, a lot of property has been damaged. For example, the hotels in coastal areas have been completely ruined and many parts of the city have faced the wrath of Nature. Thousands of trees have been uprooted, ceilings of establishments blown off, areas have been flooded with no electricity and mobile network coverage. The State has estimated a loss of around 13.2 billion dollars. The Government has sent aids to the state, but some damages and losses are irreversible. The adjoining state of Odisha has also been affected by the cyclone.
The cycle and its intensity have weakened as it has started moving towards Bhutan. It is saddening to see the people of the State facing the onslaught of another a natural calamity amidst the dangers of coronavirus. We hope that the victims and affected people keep their spirits high and revive from the situation.