Amid chill from hills to plains, fog blankets Punjab and Haryana
The temperature reflected the chill. At 2.5 degrees Celsius, Bathinda was the coldest place in Punjab.punjab Updated: Jan 01, 2018 21:22 IST
An intense cold spell continued in the hilly states in north India even as air, road and rail travellers faced cancellations, suspended services and delays with heavy fog shrouding the plains on Monday.
J&K and Himachal Pradesh recorded minimum temperatures several degrees below the freezing point. As dense fog engulfed several parts of Punjab, poor visibility affected air and train traffic, causing delay and cancellation. The arrival of six flights at Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in Amritsar was delayed by three to five hours. The Ludhiana-Delhi flight too was cancelled for third consecutive day. At the Chandigarh airport, nine flights were cancelled and as many delayed, including the ones to Bangkok and Sharjah.
As for rail traffic, 22 trains arriving at the Chandigarh railway station were running behind schedule by over an hour. In Punjab, officials said, four trains were cancelled and 13 were running late by two to 12 hours.
The temperature reflected the chill. At 2.5 degrees Celsius, Bathinda was the coldest place in Punjab. Adampur shivered at 2.8. Ludhiana (4.2) and Faridkot (4), too, reeled under piercing cold.
High-altitude tribal areas and mountain passes in Himachal groaned under arctic conditions with the mercury staying 14 to 20 degrees below the freezing point. Forecasters predicted a prolonged spell of cold weather in the state, where lakes, springs, rivulets and tributaries of major rivers have frozen in the higher reaches.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar ushered in the New Year under freezing conditions as the city recorded the coldest night of this winter with a minimum of minus-4.4. Leh in the cold desert of Ladakh recorded the lowest temperature (-14.5 degrees Celsius) in the state. Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai Kalan, a 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably. It ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in the valley.
(With inputs from agencies)