Chilly conditions persist in north India

 The winter chill gained intensity in northern India on Wednesday with temperatures dipping in most parts including in Himachal Pradesh where the state government asked tourists not to visit Kullu and Manali as power and water supply remained suspended for fifth day in these areas.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 18, 2014, 00:35 AM IST

New Delhi: The winter chill gained intensity in northern India on Wednesday with temperatures dipping in most parts including in Himachal Pradesh where the state government asked tourists not to visit Kullu and Manali as power and water supply remained suspended for fifth day in these areas.

Though no rainfall was recorded in Delhi, chilly and breezy conditions prevailed in the national capital with minimum temperature settling at 9.2 degrees Celsius, which was a notch above normal.

The maximum temperature in the city settled three notches below the season's average at 19.3 degrees Celsius while humidity in air oscillated between 95 and 48 per cent.

The intense cold wave conditions further aggravated in most parts of Himachal Pradesh even as electricity, water and other services remained suspended in popular tourist spots Kullu and Manali due to severe cold conditions.

In view of the situation, the Himachal Pradesh government has issued an advisory to tourists to avoid visiting Kullu and Manali till normalcy returned in the areas.

"The electricity, water and other services have not been restored in Kullu and Manali and no target date of restoration of services has been fixed. The tourists are advised to avoid visiting these places and plan their visit only after the administration gives a green signal," a police advisory said.

The road from Kullu to Manali via the left bank of Beas is still closed while the road from right bank has been opened for single lane light vehicular traffic.

Twenty eight persons, including a woman and two children, are stuck near Mari and 332 roads are closed in the district.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti recorded minimum temperatures at minus 12.1 degrees Celsius while high altitude tribal areas reeled under freezing cold with mercury staying 15 to 20 degrees below freezing point. Manali, covered under thick blanket of snow, shivered at minus 4.8 degrees Celsius.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Leh in frontier region of Ladakh slipped to a bone-chilling minus 13 degree Celsius even as the night temperature continued its free fall below the freezing point across Kashmir division.

Kargil, also in the cold desert of Ladakh, was the second coldest recorded place with a low of minus 12.8 degrees Celsius, while summer capital Srinagar recorded a low of minus 4.0 degrees.

The famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as a base camp during the annual Amarnath yatra, was the coldest recorded place in Kashmir Valley at minus 6.8 degree Celsius.

Normal life continued to remain affected due to cold conditions in Rajasthan where over 14 passenger trains were running late due to fog and mist even as Mount Abu shivered at a low of one degree Celsius.

On plains, Churu was the coldest place where a minimum temperature of 2.5 degrees Celsius was recorded.

Jaipur's minimum temperature dipped to 6.4 degrees Celsius, about one degree less than yesterday.

In Punjab and Haryana, a thick blanket of fog early this morning threw normal life out of gear as poor visibility affected movement of vehicles. However, later at some places people experienced a sunny day.

Amritsar in Punjab recorded the coldest day of the season as the minimum temperature dropped to 1 degree Celsius, while Narnaul was the coldest in Haryana at 2.7 degrees Celsius.

Chandigarh's low was recorded at 6.6 degrees Celsius.

Shallow fog engulfed parts of east and west Uttar Pradesh during last 24 hours with Muzaffarnagar and Lucknow recording the lowest minimum temperature of 6.6 degrees Celsius.