New Delhi: Cold wave conditions claimed seven lives in North India even as thick fog disrupted normal life in the region. In capital Delhi, the maximum temperature was recorded at 16.2 degrees celsius, five less than normal, while the minimum was 7 degrees celsius, one less than the ususal. Seven persons died in the past 24 hours in different parts of Uttar Pradesh as cold wave conditions prevailed across the state.
While three deaths were reported from Barabanki district, two persons died in Muzaffarnagar and one each in Hardoi and Bijnor districts, people with knowledge of the development said on Tuesday. According to the Met office, maximum temperature was below normal by 5 to 12 degrees celsius in many parts of the state. Cold conditions prevailed over some parts of the state, it said, adding, the weather was mainly dry over the state. Night temperatures rose in Meerut division and fell in Varanasi division.
The temperature was above normal in Bareilly, below normal in Meerut, Kanpur and Varanasi and normal elsewhere. The lowest minimum temperature in the state was 3.4 degrees celsius recorded at Fatehgarh. A thick blanket of fog enveloped most parts of Punjab, Haryana and the Union territory of Chandigarh disrupting normal life and hitting air, rail and road traffic.
MeT department officials said that the fog was responsible for reduced visibility in the region and resultantly, several trains and flights were either cancelled or delayed by hours. The condition was no better on the roads where motorists were forced to switch on their headlights even as vehicular traffic moved at a snail’s pace due to reduced visibility.
Meanwhile, train services remained affected across the northern states due to poor visibility with Railways rescheduling departure timings of about 50 trains leaving from New Delhi. The rescheduling came as close to 100 trains arrived in the national capital several hours behind schedule, some late by even a day. The rescheduled trains included the Rajdhani and Duronto trains mostly bound for the eastern states, said a Northern Railway spokesperson.
The long delays and the change of departure timings caused inconvenience to passengers, especially to those who had to catch connecting trains from the city to carry on with their further journey. The spokesperson said even as the foggy conditions subsides, it will take at least two to three days for normalcy to return. Apart from the Rajdhanis, the late incoming trains included the Shiv Ganga express from Varanasi, Magadh express from Islampur, the Amritsar Shatabdi express, Mahabodhi express from Gaya, Bihar Sampark Kranti express from Darbhanga, Farakka express from Malda Town and a special train from Patna which was running late by more than a day.