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Cold war: north india shivers, travel schedules go haywire

A bone-chilling cold wave with dense fog tightened its vice-like grip over North India on Monday playing havoc with plane and train schedules. At least eight flights were cancelled at IGI airport and 173 flights were delayed more than 15 minutes due to bad weather at Delhi and other airports in North Indian states besides 47 trains were rescheduled and 109 were running late.

“The visibility at IGI airport went below 50 meters at 5.30 am which continued till 9 pm forcing emergency measures despite that several flights were delayed and cancelled. Seven flights headed for Chandigarh, Kullu, and Jammu etc could not take off due to bad weather while a Delhi bound flight from Kullu was also cancelled,”said a senior MeT officer at IGI airport. As per the information from MeT office at airport the emergency measures were in force from 3.30 am to 2.50 pm on Monday to tackle poor visibility. In this duration 97 Delhi bound flights were delayed while 76 flights could not take off from Delhi airport on time.

According to MeT department, the minimum temperature on Monday was 4.2 degree Celsius which was four notches below the normal while maximum was 15.8 degree Celsius which was also below six points below normal. The weathermen have predicted a similar foggy and chilly weather on Tuesday with maximum and minimum temperatures to hover around 17 and 5 degree Celsius respectively. The minimum temperature on Sunday was 6.4 degree Celsius but due to fall of 2.2 degree Celsius the intervening night of Monday-Tuesday was more chilling.

“The cold waves would continue at least by the weekend and so is the fog,’said a senior MeT officer in Delhi MeT department. Last year the coldest 30 December was coldest when minimum temperature was recorded to be 2 degree Celsius.

Mount Abu in Rajasthan was the coldest place on plain, shivering at 2 degrees Celsius. Pilani recorded a minimum of 3.8 degrees Celsius followed by Churu at 4.2 degrees C, according to the MeT department. Almost all the long distance trains passing through North Indian states were running late. “Rajdhani trains coming from Bhubaneswar, Sealdah and Ranchi were running late by about three to four hours, service of other Delhi-bound trains are also being severely affected due to adverse weather,” said a senior Northern Railway official. Magadh Express and Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express were running 18 hours late.

The district magistrate of Ghaziabad and Noida have ordered closure of all schools till 10 January in their districts after an advisory from Uttar Pradesh government. The minimum temperature in the state was recorded in Meerut at 2.3 degrees Celsius. 

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 1.3 degree Celsius, slightly up from the previous night’s minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, said a MeT official. A 35 year old homeless person died in Rajasthan while two deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh due 
to severe cold.
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