Thursday, January 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

North shivers
Mercury dips, fog engulfs region

Chandigarh, January 8
People in the north-west region shivered as icy winds forced the mercury down by 3C to 4C below normal while fog continued to hit road and air traffic today.

At least two more persons and four buffaloes were killed in a pile-up involving four vehicles, including a sugarcane-laden tractor-trailer during blinding fog, about 20 km from Moga last night. With this, at least 32 persons are known to have fallen victim to weather related incidents in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh since the New Years Day.

With icy winds and thick layers of fog enveloping most of the northwestern region, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ambala and Patiala in the plains and Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir experienced the coldest weather in the past 24 hours.

People in and around Chandigarh shivered as the day temperature today plummeted to a low of 8.4C, around 11 degrees below normal and recorded 5.4C, two degrees less than the normal, in the minimum. Chandigarh and its surrounding areas like Panchkula (Haryana) and Mohali (Punjab) today were the coldest since the onset of winter this year.

Ambala in Haryana, too, reported the coldest night at 4.4C, 2.8 degrees below normal. Hisar reported the low of 4.9C.

Amritsar and Patiala, reporting 3.2C and 4.2C, respectively, were the coldest places in Punjab. Ludhiana, which had recorded the coldest night on December 30 when the mercury dipped to 2.3C, had the minimum hovering around 3.7C overnight.

The temperatures in and around Shimla were (3.4C), Bhuntar (minus 1.6C) and Sundernagar (minus 0.8C). Srinagar, reported the coolest night with the low dipping to 5.6 degrees below freezing point which was two degrees below normal. Jammu had the coolest night of the season so far with the mercury dipping by four degrees to 3.7C.

Important trains like the Shatabdis, the Himalayan Queen, and the Shaan-e-Punjab operated on schedule on the New Delhi-Kalka and New Delhi-Amritsar sections of the Northern Railway today for the first time since January 1. However, due to delayed arrivals yesterday, trains like the Amritsar-Delhi, New-Delhi-Jalandhar, Haridwar-Sriganganagar and Sriganganagar-Haridwar inter-city were cancelled, Northern Railway sources in Ambala Division said.

The to and fro Indian Airlines and Jet Airways flights to New Delhi-Mumbai-Goa and New Delhi-Mumbai were again cancelled today due to bad weather conditions.

IA sources told UNI that weather permitting, the fully booked Chandigarh-Leh, to the northern-most district headquarters of Ladakh, would operate tomorrow for the first time in the New Year. Last Thursday, the Leh-bound passengers were flown via New Delhi. UNI


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