Patiala shivers at 5°C, dense fog, cold wave disrupt life
Dense fog, coupled with intense cold waves, has disrupted normal life in Patiala district and its surrounding areas. Fog blanketed the region throughout the day and visibility remained low even in the afternoon, slowing down the vehicular movement.
The Royal City continued to shiver as the mercury dropped considerably. On Monday, the minimum temperature recorded in Patiala was 5°C, while maximum remained 11°C. Chaos was witnessed at local bus stand and stops as most buses were running almost an hour late than their scheduled time.
Similar situation was witnessed at the railway station as well. Many trains, including Ganganagar-Haridwar Express and Dadar Express, were delayed due to fog. Heavy rush was witnessed at the Rajpura junction as well.
The working class had to suffer the most as they faced a lot of difficulty in commuting to their workplaces amid dense fog and low visibility, putting their lives at risk.
“On routine days, it takes me around 20 minutes to reach the mini-secretariat from the Punjabi University periphery. But due to fog, it takes me at least 40 minutes these days. There is hardly any traffic on the roads and yet, poor visibility restricts speed of vehicles to a great extent,” said Manjit Singh, a government employee.
As per the meteorological department’s predictions, fog will continue to blanket the district in the first week of January, 2020. Life in the city is derailed due to thick fog. Parks and streets too wear a deserted look as people are preferring to remain indoors.
Cold wave coupled with fog has made life miserable for the homeless people, migrants and street vendors.
Vijaydeep Singh,a resident of the Urban Estate, said, “The administration should ensure that homeless people including women and children get top stay at shelter homes. Its inhuman to expect them to sleep on pavements in such bone-chilling weather.”
Advisory for farmers
The agriculture department has appealed to farmers to not go for blind spraying of urea and other fertilisers fearing any effect of winter spell on crop yield. The department has instructed farmers to keep day-to-day tab on the weather conditions and advisories.
Meanwhile, though prevailing weather conditions have no affect on growth of vegetables, experts say that frost-like conditions in coming days can adversely affect their growth and yield, especially that of potatoes.
Vegetable growers have been directed to cover their crop with polythene sheets or use low tunnel technique to protect them from cold.
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Due to a western disturbance active over the region, light to moderate rainfall was recorded across Punjab and Haryana, leading to a significant drop in the mercury on Monday. Due to thundershowers and winds that blew overnight, the temperature witnessed a fall of 4 to 6 degrees Celsius. Manmohan Singh, the India Meteorological Department, Chandigarh, director added that the maximum day temperature is expected to touch 37 degrees Celsius on Monday, 4 to 5 degrees below the average day temperature.