Cold wave: As north India gripped by the biting cold on Tuesday, at least three people were killed and around 40 injured in several accidents due to dense fog in states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It also prompted affected states to take measures like modifying school timing, suspending night operations of buses and reducing the speed limits in some areas.
For the second morning in a row, dense to very dense fog covered the Indo-Gangetic plains, including Delhi. This reduced visibility in the city to 50 metres and had an impact on both rail and road traffic.
However, an airport official stated that there was no impact on flight operations in the national capital. On Tuesday, at least 11 trains were reported running late by one to five hours. According to an IMD official, visibility dropped to 50 metres at the Palam and Safdarjung airports in Delhi between 5.30 am and 7 am.
Thick layer of fog covers parts of North India
Early in the morning, satellite photos revealed a thick layer of fog covering Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, north Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh administration banned the night operation of state road buses after taking note of the dense fog and accidents caused by it.
One person died and 24 were injured when a bus collided with a truck amid low visibility due to dense fog on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, police said.
In a separate incident, a truck loaded with lentils hit the divider of the highway and overturned in the Dadri area of Greater Noida, police said.
In view of reduced visibility due to increasing fog, the upper-speed limit on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway has now been fixed at 75 km per hour from 100 km per hour, officials said on Tuesday evening.
The upper speed of vehicles has also been capped at 65 km per hour on some other routes in Noida, and motorists violating the speed limit order will face legal action or penalty or both, according to an official statement.
Temperature dips in Haryana
Meanwhile, in Haryana, cold weather conditions prevailed in Narnaul, which recorded a low of 4.5 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in Hisar settled at 6 degrees Celsius, according to a meteorological department report.
In Punjab, Bathinda was the coldest place with the mercury settling at a low of 3.4 degrees Celsius.
Amritsar also experienced a cold night with a low of 6.8 degrees Celsius. Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 7.6 degrees Celsius.
The weather department said cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are likely at isolated places in Haryana and Punjab while dense to very dense fog is likely at most places over the next 4-5 days.
Cold wave intensifies across Kashmir
Meanwhile, a cold wave across Kashmir intensified on Tuesday as the temperatures fell several degrees below the freezing point, a day ahead of 'Chilla-i-Kalan', the 40-day harshest winter period, officials said.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar recorded last night was minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, while Gulmarg resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius, they said.
The meteorological department has forecast colder nights over the next couple of days as further fall in the minimum temperature is expected. There is also the possibility of rain or light snowfall in some parts of Kashmir around Christmas.
(With inputs from PTI)