North India is in a grip of cold wave conditions as temperatures plummet making life difficult for the people. In the plains of North India, the lowest minimum temperature of 0.0 deg C was reported over Rajasthan's Churu, according to India Metrological Department.
National capital records 5.3 degrees celsius
The national capital New Delhi reeled under a cold wave and foggy conditions, causing disruption of normal life. Delhi on Sunday recorded a minimum temperature of 5.3 degrees celsius while most parts of northern India today witnessed temperatures in a range between 3 to 7 degrees Celsius said India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday.
Besides New Delhi, reports of shivering and foggy conditions came in from many other parts of North India.
"Severe cold reported at most places over Punjab; Cold day at most locations with isolated severe cold day reported over Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi; cold day to severe cold day at isolated places over northwest Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh," read an IMD tweet.
UP, Bihar suffer severe cold wave
The district magistrate in Bihar's Patna said in a notice on Saturday that the schools will remain closed for students up to class 8 from today till year-end in view of cold wave conditions.
Dense fog engulfed parts of Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad lowering visibility in many areas. As per IMD, "Moradabad will witness a minimum temperature of 7degC and a maximum temperature of 18degC while dense fog will continue to persist today." Fog and cold wave conditions prevailed in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad today. Haridwar in UP too witnessed dense fog as the minimum temperature remained below 10 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, in Punjab's Amritsar, fog and cold wave conditions prevailed as the minimum temperature was recorded at 6.5 degrees Celcius today. In Haryana, thick fog shrouded the city of Ambala.
Rajasthan's Churu reports min temperature of 0.0 deg C
Rajasthan is experiencing a particularly biting cold winter. "Today, cold wave to severe cold wave conditions prevailed at isolated pockets over Rajasthan," IMD tweeted.
In Rajasthan's Mount Abu, the dip in temperature caused snowing. People in Mount Abu woke up to snow-covered grounds. The snow froze on the windows of the vehicles. The lowest minimum temperature of 0.0 deg C was reported over Rajasthan's Churu in the plains of North India.
IMD predicts foggy week; low visibility a big challenge
The cold wave has brought with it a blanket of fog over North India. IMD has predicted foggy conditions to continue for the whole week.
According to the IMD, visibility across most of the northern states remained poor with Bhatinda in Punjab and Bikaner in Rajasthan recording "zero visibility". Not only in Bhatinda, but the visibility throughout Punjab also remained low, with Amritsar recording visibility of 25 metres.
The visibility in the national capital was recorded at just 50 meters this morning.
Haryana too recorded low visibility. While places like Ambala and Hissar recorded a low of 25m and 50m respectively, visibility in Chandigarh was 200 metres.
According to IMD data, places like Sri Ganganagar and Churu in Rajasthan also recorded low visibility of 25 and 50 meters, respectively.
Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal also recorded very low visibility on the day with the number dipping to 50 metres in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, while North Bengal recorded visibility of 200 meters.
Train, flight services hit due to fog
In the last few days, several trains have been delayed and some got cancelled owing to a thick layer of fog. Even on Sunday, as many as 10 trains of the Northern Railway ran late due to prevailing fog. The Northern Railway on the same day had informed that 14 Delhi-bound trains were running late, due to dense fog in the national capital region.
Often, flights also run delayed amid foggy conditions and poor visibility. In the wake of the same, India's leading airline and a Star Alliance member, Air India announced on Saturday about its "FogCare" initiative to mitigate the impact of disruptions due to fog on passengers.
This initiative, which will initially be launched for flights departing from and arriving at IGI airport, New Delhi, aims to take care of unforeseen circumstances such as delays and cancellations of flights amid thick fog that engulfs northern India during the winter season.
Under the new FogCare initiative, Air India will be taking proactive steps to isolate the impact of fog on flight operations, which usually takes place in the early mornings and late evenings, but often also cascades throughout the day.
Delhi govt launches winter action plan
Notably, the Delhi Government has launched the Winter Action Plan for homeless people in the national capital in order to protect them from weather adversities.
To ensure the benefit of the facility reach the maximum number of people, the Delhi government has set up a 24x7 centralised control room and has also issued helpline numbers.
People can inform Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) about the homeless through this helpline and DUSIB's rescue team will reach the location to take the homeless to the nearest shelter.
Dense fog leading to accidents
People commuting via roads are also reportedly facing difficulties as poor vision makes the route more prone to accidents.
Recently, a vehicle in the convoy of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala met with an accident in Dhandhoor village due to heavy fog while headed to Sirsa from Hisar on December 20.
However, in the early hours of December 20, one person was reportedly killed and at least 10 others were injured in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar when a bus carrying 60 passengers collided with a container vehicle due to heavy fog in Dankaur area.
Meanwhile, several vehicles on the Greater Noida Eastern Peripheral Highway (EPH) were also reported to have been involved in an accident on Decemeber 19, with dense fog suspected to be the cause.
On December 18, at least a dozen people were injured when 22 vehicles collided with each other on the Ambala-Saharanpur highway in Yamuna Nagar due to low visibility by fog.
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