Thursday, January 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Fog hits air, rail traffic

Chandigarh, January 1
The entire northern region today shivered as the cold wave intensified, with Srinagar in the Kashmir valley reporting a low of minus 5C, even as snow in the hills of Himachal Pradesh and rain in the plains made people groan under piercing icy winds.

Shimla, which received the seasons first snowfall yesterday, witnessed some sunshine this morning, but icy cold winds blowing across the town kept the mercury down, which fell by two degrees during the night to settle at 0.1C. Dhundi also received some snow, the Meteorological Department said.

Solan, Bhuntar and Sundernagar also shivered, recording minimums at 5.5C, 1.0C and 0.2C, respectively. The towns were also lashed by rain.

A thick blanket of fog engulfed the city on New Years Day this morning, forcing vehicular traffic to move at a snails pace with headlights on and the cancellation of two flights from here. The Indian Airlines flight to Goa and the Jet Airways flight to Mumbai had to be cancelled again today due to bad weather, airline sources said.

Thick fog with very low visibility was also observed at various places, including Amritsar, Pathankot, Adampur, SAS Nagar and Halwara in Punjab and Ambala, Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana.

The fog also affected the train schedule and many trains passing through Punjab (Rajpura-Bathinda section) and Haryana ran behind schedule. A report from Sonepat said all long-distance and suburban incoming and outgoing trains passed through Sonepat behind schedule. Traffic on the national highway No 1 was also affected due to thick fog.

In Punjab, the mercury dropped three degrees below normal at 2.5C in Ludhiana while Patiala at 5.5C also had a chilly night. The low at Amritsar settled at 6.2C.

The mercury fell by 10 degrees in the city yesterday after being lashed by 10 mm of rain during the day. The maximum yesterday at 11.4C was even less than the high at Srinagar at 11.7C, the Meteorological Department said. However, the night temperature of Chandigarh today witnessed a slight increase at 7.0C.

Ambala (7.0C), Hisar (6.3C), Rohtak (5.6C) and Narnaul (4.5C) also had a cold night while rains also lashed these towns.

Jammu also had a cold night at 6.5C, the Met office said.

The office has forecast mainly sunny weather in Himachal Pradesh while fog and low clouds are likely in Haryana and Punjab during the next two days.

KANGRA: Cold wave conditions in the Kangra valley claimed a life during the past 24 hours, with the sky remaining overcast on Wednesday and the Dhauladhar mountain range experiencing mild snowfall on Tuesday night. An unidentified person died near Pathiar village on the Mallan Chamunda road due to acute cold wave conditions last night, ASP Santosh Patial said. He said the body of the 40-year-old person was found on Wednesday morning by local residents. PTI, OC

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