Temperature dips, fog thickens over Uttar Pradesh

January 4th, 2009 - 4:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Jan 4 (IANS) A thick blanket of fog once again descended on several parts of Uttar Pradesh Sunday, disrupting rail and air traffic. The mercury also plummeted in the region that has been witnessing an intense cold wave over the last week, claiming over 50 lives. Saturday’s rise in the minimum temperature of 9 degrees Celsius was rolled back to a freezing 4 degrees in the state capital and its neighbourhood. As many as 50 people, mostly pavement dwellers, have died since the cold spell broke out last week.

Gorakhpur remained the coldest in the state with the mercury dipping to 4.2 degrees, followed by Lucknow (4.7), Varanasi (5.2), Kanpur (5.9), Agra (7) and Meerut (8.6).

“The brief respite from the biting chill Saturday had come because of certain western disturbances which went off by last evening. Following that, the cold has become more intense once again”, J.P. Gupta, director of the state meteorological department, told IANS.

According to him, the intense cold wave would last for the coming couple of days.

The administration has extended the closure of schools up to Jan 7 in view of the freezing cold.

“If needed, we would extend closure even further,” said a spokesman of the home department.

While over a dozen trains stood cancelled on different sectors across the northern, north-eastern and north-central zonal railways spread across the state, most of the trains ran hours behind schedule Sunday.

“Some of the trains were running even more than 12 hours late,” said a Northern Railway spokesman.

While air services stood quite well restored Saturday, prolonged delays hit most Sunday morning and day flights between Lucknow and other places.

Likewise, night bus services remained disrupted because of the dense fog. The sky remained overcast, while fog continued to slow down the traffic movement on most highways.

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