North India reels under severe cold, dense fog (Roundup)

January 20th, 2012 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Dense fog enveloped many parts of northern India, including the national capital, affecting road, rail and air traffic and adding to commuters’ woes as temperatures fell across the region on a chilly Friday.

Visibility in Delhi dropped to less than 50 metres at 8.30 a.m., an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS.

According to the Northern Railway website, 28 trains were delayed while 40 others were cancelled due to poor visibility and the fog.

As per the website of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), 66 flights were delayed and 21 were cancelled.

“My early morning train to Ahmedabad was cancelled and I will miss my cousin’s wedding. It’s frustrating how we continue to suffer year after year from the same problem of fog. Can’t we have a better technology in place,” complained 32-year-old businessman Arun Vadala.

Traffic crawled on roads in several areas of the capital city with fog hitting hard office-goers and school-goers. “I was to reach Gurgaon at 9 a.m. to meet a client but I was stuck on the Mahipalpur road for long,” said Anshuman Singh, who works with an ad agency.

The minimum temperature dropped three notches below average to 4.5 degrees Celsius. The maximum was 14.6, seven degrees below average.

Thick fog also engulfed most places across Punjab, Haryana and the Chandigarh city, disrupting traffic.

The minimum temperature in Chandigarh was 5.7 degrees Celsius. Narnaul was the coldest in Haryana with a minimum of 1.5 degrees. In Punjab, Amritsar was the coldest at 2.5 degrees.

Some places saw very thick fog, the IMD official said. “I could not drive my car in the morning as nothing was visible on the road,” said Nitin Sahni, a resident of Mohali town near Chandigarh.

The minimum temperatures again dipped in Jammu and Kashmir summer capital Srinagar and other parts of the valley.

“The minimum temperature was minus 3.5 degrees Celsius in Srinagar, minus 7.8 in Pahalgam, minus 14.6 in Gulmarg and minus 16.8 in Leh town of Ladakh region,” local meteorological office director Sonam Lotus told IANS here.

The maximum temperature in Srinagar was 5.2 degrees.

The surface of the Dal Lake in most parts continued to remain frozen and fresh icicles were found to have been formed because of the thaw Thursday.

One-way traffic was restored Friday afternoon on the Srinagar-Jammu highway that was closed for the last two days due to snowfall in Patnitop and Banihal sectors, an officer said here.

“The highway has been cleared for one-way traffic from Nashri to Srinagar,” Border Roads Organisation (BRO) chief engineer Brigadier T.P.S. Rawat said here.

Heavy snowfall in the Patnitop and Banihal sectors of the highway had closed the road, triggering shortages of cooking gas, kerosene and other essential commodities in the Kashmir Valley.

There was no respite from the extreme cold in Himachal Pradesh with people in the mid- and high hills suffering in the sub-zero temperatures. State capital Shimla had mild snowfall and recorded a low of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 4.2 degrees.

Keylong, the headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, was the coldest in the state at minus 12.9 degrees.

Related Stories

    Posted in Uncategorized |