New Delhi: North and eastern India continues to face extreme weather conditions with the cold wave claiming more than 50 lives so far, reports said on Friday.
At least 30 people died of the cold in Uttar Pradesh alone in the 24 hours till Thursday evening.
The mercury dropped below four degrees Celsius in many parts of Uttar Pradesh. Even though the fog receded in several parts of the state, the cold continued to bite.
The Uttar Pradesh government had allocated over Rs 15 crore for blankets for distribution among the poor and homeless. The tendering process, however, is still to begin in several districts.
The Uttar Pradesh government had also announced shelter facilities and bonfires for the homeless and the destitute, but even these moves failed to fructify in time.
Although there are nearly 17 shelter homes, these are largely poorly furnished, and the poor who seek shelter here are forced to lie on the ground, with no blankets.
On Thursday, there were 11 deaths reported from Bihar. The toll to inclement weather in the state this year has so far reached 18.
The maximum number of deaths, between Wednesday and Thursday morning, were reported from Bhadohi district in UP where five people succumbed to the cold.
As many as four people died in Balia and three each in Allahabad, Mirzapur, Sonebhadra, Ghazipur, Barabanki, Chandauli and Azamgarh districts. Shrawasti and Mau districts have reported one deaths each, a state government official said.
Even though the Meteorology Department has forecast a slight improvement in the weather condition today, with officials predicting a clear sky and light mist in the morning, cold winds are expected to sweep parts of the region.
The thick fog cover has also hit the rail and air traffic in the state. Many trains were running behind schedule, especially those coming from Punjab, Bihar and Delhi, a railways official said.
With IANS Inputs