Cold wave: As north India was gripped by bitter cold on Tuesday, at least three people were killed and around 40 injured in several accidents due to dense fog in states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It also encouraged the affected states to take measures such as changing school timetables, suspending the operation of buses at night and reducing speed limits in some areas.
For the second consecutive morning, dense to very dense fog blanketed the Indo-Gangetic plains, including Delhi. This reduced the city’s visibility to 50 meters and affected both rail and road traffic.
However, an airport official stated that there was no impact on flight operations in the national capital. On Tuesday, at least 11 trains were reported to be running between one and five hours late. According to an IMD official, visibility at Delhi’s Palam and Safdarjung airports dropped to 50 meters between 5:30 and 7 am.
A thick layer of fog covers the northern parts of India
Early in the morning, satellite images revealed a thick layer of fog covering Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, north Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh administration banned the night operation of buses on the state road after taking note of the dense fog and accidents caused by it.
One person was killed and 24 injured when a bus collided with a truck in low visibility due to dense fog on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, police said.
In another incident, a lentil-laden truck hit the highway divider and overturned in Greater Noida’s Dadri area, police said.
In view of reduced visibility due to increasing fog, the speed limit on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway has now been fixed at 75 kmph from 100 kmph, officials said on Tuesday evening.
The top speed of vehicles on other routes in Noida has also been restricted to 65 km per hour, and drivers violating the speed limit order will face legal action or penalty or both, according to an official release.
Temperature drop in Haryana
Meanwhile, in Haryana, cold weather prevailed in Narnaul, which recorded a low of 4.5 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in Hisar was settled at 6 degrees Celsius, according to a report from the meteorological department.
In Punjab, Bathinda was the coldest place with the mercury settling at a low of 3.4 degrees Celsius.
Amritsar also experienced a cold night with a low of 6.8 degrees Celsius. Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 7.6 degrees Celsius.
The weather department said cold wave and severe cold wave conditions are possible in isolated places of Haryana and Punjab, and dense to very dense fog will prevail during the next 4-5 days.
Cold wave intensifies across Kashmir
Meanwhile, the cold wave intensified across Kashmir on Tuesday as the temperature dropped several degrees below freezing, a day ahead of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, the harshest 40-day winter period, officials said.
The minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar last night was 3.4 degrees Celsius, while the Gulmarg resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded around 4.0 degrees Celsius.
The meteorological department has predicted colder nights for the coming days as the minimum temperature is expected to drop further. There is also a possibility of light rain or snow in some parts of Kashmir around Christmas.
(with input from PTI)
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