Residents of Noida and Ghaziabad struggled to cope with the cold as temperatures dropped to 3 degree Celsius on Thursday. However, while it was still sunny with a maximum temperature of 19 degree Celsius, the meteorological department said conditions may worsen on Friday.
“Temperatures are expected to go down on Friday, which may also be the coldest day of the season. Temperatures are expected to rise from Saturday. On Thursday, ground frost was also seen at isolated parts of Delhi-NCR and it is also expected on Friday,” said an official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The department also predicted that minimum temperature will increase to 6 degree Celsius and the maximum to 19 degree Celsius from Monday.
Meanwhile, authorities in Noida and Ghaziabad made the usual arrangements to provide shelter and warmth to the homeless and poor during the cold.
In Ghaziabad, 17 night shelters have been set up at various places and firewood for alaav (bonfire) has been sent to 28 other places.
“At every night shelter in the city, alaav (bonfire) facility has been provided along with proper beds, blankets and quilts. At 28 other places where slum clusters are located, wood has been sent for bonfires,” said Ashu Verma, Ghaziabad mayor, adding that the facilities were started from December 25 itself.
In Noida, the night shelter at Noida stadium with a capacity of 100 people was made operational a fortnight ago. Officials said wood for alaav was provided only recently because authorities feared a reprimand by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
“We were afraid that we may get reprimanded for creating pollution if wood is sent for burning. However, for the past one week, we have been providing alaav to the homeless and at slums and shanties because the temperatures have dropped and the cold has become unbearable,” said Soumya Srivastava, deputy chief executive officer, Noida authority.
He added that the bonfires have been provided at Labour Chowk, Noida stadium, Atta market, construction sites and other places where slum clusters and shanties are located.