Intense cold grips North India, 4 die; trains delayed due to heavy foghttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/trains-from-north-running-late-by-over-6-hrs-due-to-fog/

Intense cold grips North India, 4 die; trains delayed due to heavy fog

Railways officials are allowing passengers to travel in other train without charging them any additional fare.

Villagers cycle amidst fog early morning in Allahabad, India, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Several parts of north India are experiencing cold weather conditions. (Source: AP)
Villagers cycle amidst fog early morning in Allahabad, India, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Several parts of north India are experiencing cold weather conditions. (Source: AP)

North India was in the grip of intense cold with 40 days of harshest winter period ‘Chillai-Kalan’ beginning in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

Cold conditions intensified in the national capital as the maximum temperature was recorded at 15 degrees Celsius,
seven notches below normal.

The minimum temperature settled two notches below the season’s average at 6.4 degrees Celsius. Moisture in the air led to moderate foggy conditions in several parts of the city.

Chillai-Kalan, which begins with Winter Solstice, began with minimum temperatures rising by several degrees in Kashmi even though they continued to remain below freezing point.

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The minimum temperature rose by over two degrees in Srinagar as the city recorded a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, compared to the previous night’s minus 4.4 degrees.

The start of Chillai-Kalan has increased the chances of first snowfall of the season in Kashmir Valley which has seen dry weather so far.

In Himachal Pradesh, bitting cold conditions continued unabated even as the state witnessed a clear day.

Mercury in tribal areas and higher hills stayed 15 to 20 degrees below freezing point while Keylong, Manali and Kalpa recorded a low of minus 7 degrees C, minus 3 degrees C and minus 1.6 degrees C respectively.

All lakes and other natural sources of water like springs, rivulets and tributaries of major rivers remained frozen in high altitude areas, causing sharp reduction in discharge of water in snow-fed Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers.

Wintry conditions intensified in the national capital as the maximum temperature was recorded at 15 degrees Celsius, seven notches below normal. The minimum settled two notches below the season’s average at 6.4 degrees Celsius.

Three persons died of asphyxiation while another is critical in hospital, after they had lit a coal fire (angithi) to keep themselves warm during the night in south Delhi’s Hauz Khas area.

The deceased have been identified as Santosh (33), Rajesh (26), and Uday (45). Munna (56), whose condition is critical, is undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile,a 30-year-old man died of cold in Muzaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh where winter chill and foggy conditions continued to prevail with Nazibabad recording the lowest minimum temperature of the state at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, authorities have managed to partially restore water supply in Kullu and Manali areas even as power supply remain erratic.

Most express trains from New Delhi and other northern states are running late by four-five hours due to heavy fog, railway officials said on Sunday.

New Delhi- Chennai grand trunk express, New Delhi- Chennai express, Hazrat Nizamuddin- Visakhapatnam link, New Delhi- Thiruvananthapuram Kerala express and many other trains arrived late by more than six hours today at the Vijayawada railway station.

“Most of the trains from Northern states are running late but we are managing to cover it to some extent,” a senior railway official in the operations division, said.

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Passengers who have confirmed forward reservation are suffering due to the delay but railways officials are allowing passengers to travel in other train without charging them any additional fare.