Chandigarh residents shiver in dense fog

January 2nd, 2009 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Jan 2 (IANS) There has been no respite from dense fog and shivering cold in Chandigarh and its neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. A thick blanket of fog enveloped the whole region Thursday and there were no signs of lifting of fog till 10.30 a.m. Friday. This reduced visibility to a mere 50 metres.

The morning minimum temperature in Chandigarh was recorded at 6.2 degree Celsius Thursday.

Amritsar district of Punjab was the coldest region in the north Indian plains with the morning minimum temperature of 1 degree Celsius. It was even lower than the morning temperature of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh that was recorded at 4.1 degree Celsius.

“Cold wave in the region is the main reason behind the dipping of temperature in the region. It is quite normal and we are expecting the night temperature to dip further in the coming days,” Director of Chandigarh Meteorological Department Chatar Singh Malik told IANS.

“This fog is because of the western disturbances. There is a possibility of rainfall in the region and isolated snowfall in some parts of Himachal Pradesh by Jan 5, that will bring relief from this dense fog,” he said.

Many flights and trains were delayed due to the fog cover. Two flights to Delhi and one flight to Goa from Chandigarh were cancelled Thursday.

Trains coming to Chandigarh were delayed by six to ten hours Thursday due to fog leading to long hours of wait in the cold for the passengers at the railway station.

Motorists in the region also had a tough time driving to work.

The number of accidents in early mornings and late evenings has also mounted in the region.

Due to the dense fog, the engine and three coaches of Amritsar-Dera Baba Nanak passenger train derailed near Dera Baba Nanak station in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, about 220 km from here, Thursday. However, no loss of life was reported as the train was running slow.

In the wake of thick fog engulfing the region, Chandigarh administration has extended the winter break in government and private schools to Jan 5. Primary and pre-primary schools will reopen Jan 12.

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