Patna: Bihar reeled under an intense cold wave accompanied by very dense fog on Sunday, reducing visibility to an extreme low, even as Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's helicopter could not land in Sitamarhi district for an official programme.
Sub-divisional Officer (SDO) of Pupri in Sitamarhi Akhilesh Kumar Singh said that the helicopter of the Chief Minister could not land due to dense fog and poor visibility in the afternoon and returned to Patna.
"Manjhi was due to lay the foundation stone of a government polytechnic institute at Sursand block," he said.
Patna recorded a maximum temperature of 17.2 degrees Celsius and a minimum 5.6 degrees.
Weather officials said Chapra, around 90 kms northwest of Patna, was the coldest place in the state with the minimum temperature slipping to 4.6 degrees Celsius and the maximum at 14.4 degrees.
Maximum and minimum temperatures in Gaya were 19.1 and 6.1 degrees respectively. In Muzaffarpur it was 13.6 and 8, Supaul 18.1 and 5.2, Purnia 19.5 and 8.4 degrees, respectively.
Weather officials said foggy and cold wave conditions would continue over the next couple of days and there could be an abatement of cold wave around December 30 and 31.
Long distance trains, including Rajdhani Express passing through Bihar, ran three to 13 hours late following instructions by railway officials to drivers to keep the speed of the locomotives below 65 kilometres per hour due to fog.
Meanwhile, the state government arranged bonfires at around 2,000 public places for poor people. Over 1.8 lakh kgs of firewood was distributed to keep the bonfires burning.
Disaster Management Department officials said they were keeping a watch over arrangement of bonfires across the state.