New Delhi: Cold wave and harsh weather conditions continue to throw life out of gear in North India with the minimum temperature dipping to 2.4 degrees Celsius in the national capital on Monday.
Though the minimum temperature in Delhi improved partially from Sunday’s 1.9 degrees to 2.4 it still remains five degrees below normal. Making the mater worse, icy-winds forced people to stay inside their homes in Delhi.
Although visibility remained normal, the early morning fog disrupted rail and air traffic. At least 16 trains have been cancelled, 11 have been rescheduled and around 70 trains are running late.
Most of the affected trains are between the northern and the northern-eastern sector.
At the Indira Gandhi International Airport, seven international and nine domestic flights have been delayed due to fog with the runway visibility less than 100 metres.
However, the Metrological Department has announced that people will get some respite from cold winds which are expected to weaken soon and the temperature set to rise in Delhi and surrounding areas.
The cold weather conditions are likely to continue in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Meanwhile, the temperature has also dropped to a record low in Poonch district in Jammu & Kashmir with mercury dipping well below the minus and water freezing at various places in the district. It was the coldest day of Poonch in the last 35 years.
On Sunday, life across the North India region was hit by bone-numbing cold and the toll climbed to well over 100 with at least 16 more people dying in Uttar Pradesh.
The mercury fell to minus 18 degrees in Leh town of Jammu and Kashmir, while several places, both in the hills and plains, experienced zero or lower temperatures as both maximum and minimum temperatures plummeted across the region and icy winds made things worse.
Transport was also hit with many flights and trains delayed by the dense fog.
In Delhi, the minimum temperature dipped to a five-year low at 1.9 degrees Celsius, and the maximum was nine notches below average at 11.8 degrees.
Fog delayed 68 flights at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Over 70 trains ran behind schedule and 15 were cancelled due to dense fog.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Leh was followed by Kargil (minus 17.4 degrees Celsius), while the night temperature in Srinagar, the summer capital, was minus 4.6 degrees Celsius and 6.9 degrees in Jammu, the winter capital.
Frost in the Kashmir Valley and fog in Jammu disrupted traffic, with most trains reaching Jammu delayed and five flights were cancelled. Road traffic was also affected due to one-way traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Parts of the Dal Lake in Srinagar have frozen, making life difficult for fisherman and boatmen.
Himachal Pradesh also witnessed bone-chilling cold with Keylong freezing at a minus 10.4 degrees Celsius, Shimla shivering at 0.9 degree Celsius and tourist resort Manali at 3 degrees below the freezing point.
But day temperatures across the state were up by an average of two to five degrees due to the dry weather. Bitter cold conditions prevailed in both Haryana and Punjab with temperature falling to minus 1.1 degrees Celsius in Haryana`s Hisar town.
Narnaul town shivered with a minimum temperature at zero degrees for the second successive day, while Chandigarh had a low of three degrees on Sunday.
In Punjab, Patiala town recorded a low of 3.5 degrees while Amritsar had a low of 4.4 degrees.
The cold wave continued unabated for the fourth day in Uttar Pradesh Sunday, with the lowest night temperature of 0.3 degrees Celsius recorded in Muzaffarnagar.
A dense fog enveloped most parts of the sprawling state, specially the western districts closer to Delhi, while icy winds, sweeping the state at 10 km per hour, kept people indoors.
In many areas, day temperatures went down to 12 degrees Celsius, 5 degrees below the average.
Farah in Mathura district recorded a temperature of zero degree Celsius, while temperatures kept low in more than a dozen places including Agra (1.1), Ghazipur (1.5) and Najibabad (1.1) and between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius in Lucknow, Etawah, Allahabad, and Moradabad.
As many as 16 people perished due to the cold wave - five in Bahraich, and three each in Faizabad, Amethi and Barabanki. Two deaths were reported in Agra.
With Agency inputs