M A I N   N E W S

Cold paralyses life in region
Tribune News Service & PTI

Srinagar, January 5
Even as the authorities claimed to have accelerated restoration work following heavy snowfall in Kashmir, life in the valley remained paralysed for the fourth consecutive day today due to freezing cold and drinking water shortage, power failure and icy roads.

While the night temperature continues to remain 2 to 4 degrees Celsius below zero, there is not much rise in the day temperature that remains below 5 degrees Celsius.

The power failure due to disruption in 220 kv Kishenpur-Pampore transmission line, supplying power to the valley from national grid, led to breakdown in various emergency services in the valley. It plunged the entire valley into darkness and led to disruption in hospital services and breakdown of drinking water facilities. The power supply is yet to be restored fully. An official of the Public Health Engineering Department (PHE) told The Tribune that 90 per cent of the drinking water facilities were restored here. Of the four filtration plants, the major breakdown was due to disruption in electricity supply to the two plants at Doodhganga and Nishat supplying drinking water to two peripheral areas of the city.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway has been opened to one-way traffic on alternate days from Jammu and Srinagar, after it was blocked with heavy snowfall on Monday. Though the authorities claimed that there were sufficient stocks of LPG, kerosene, edible oils and other supplies for 40 days, several items have reportedly disappeared from markets. While snow has been cleared from most of the roads across the central Kashmir districts of Srinagar and Budgam, and Baramulla and Kupwara districts in north Kashmir, some areas like Tangdhar were still cut off.

CHANDIGARH: Jalandhar turned out to be the coldest place in the plains today after minimum temperature plummetted to minus 0.6 degrees Celsius, as cold wave further tightened its grip in the northern region. Most parts of the region remained engulfed by a thick blanket of fog once again, leading to the cancellation of some flights and disruption in rail and road traffic.

While the low at Jalandhar was recorded at 5C below the normal, Amritsar also reeled under intense chill as the low dropped to 0C, down 4 degrees.

Chandigarh, Udhampur, Jammu, Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara and Delhi reported zero visibility due to fog early this morning, the Meteorological Department said here.

Fog also affected places, including Ambala (800 m), Sirsa (600 m) and
Bathinda (800 m).

The Indian, the Jet Airways and Air Deccan cancelled their flights from Delhi to this city for the third consecutive day today due to bad weather conditions.

Ludhiana residents also got no respite from piercing cold as the town recorded a low of 3.4C, down 3 degrees. Patiala also had a cold night at 4.7C, down 2 degrees.

Chandigarh had an overcast sky and cold winds swept the city, which recorded a minimum of 4C, down 3 degrees.

Delhi residents braved a cold night as the Capital recorded a low of 5C, down 2 degrees.

Hisar recorded a low of 3.3C, down 2 degrees while Karnal registered a 3 degrees below normal low at 4C. Ambala registered a minimum of 6.5C.

In Himachal Pradesh, Shimla recorded a low of 3.4 C, while Bhuntar registered a minimum of 2.7C. Sundernagar also had a cold night at 3.7C.

Rail traffic on the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka section of the Northern Railway was affected due to dense fog, which engulfed the region.



Fog hits rail, air services in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 5
The Capital came in the grip of a cold wave today with mercury dipping due to icy westerly winds and thick fog enveloping the region. This led to the delaying of several flights and trains coming into the city.

The runway visibility range at the Indira Gandhi International Airport was around 200 m, which led to delay in air services. Several international flights heading towards the Capital had to be diverted to nearby airports, while some private airlines cancelled their early morning flights.

Northern Railways also canceled a few services due to fog while several trains reaching here were running behind the schedule. Four trains Farukhabad-Bhiwani Kalindi Express, Allahabad-Ambala Unchahar Express, Delhi-Sealdah Lal Qila Express, Howrah-Sri Ganganagar Toofan Express were cancelled due to the bad weather.

At the domestic end, two Indian Airlines flights could take off using the advanced CAT III B Instrument Landing System till 7.47 am, airport sources said, adding that weather packed up later and the airport was shut for operations for nearly an hour.

Flights resumed around 8.40 am as the fog cleared and visibility improved to 400 m. The minimum temperature in the Capital was five degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal, Met officials said.

The city has been in the grip of cold wave since yesterday when the maximum temperature was 17.3 degrees Celsius, which is five degrees below normal.

Though the sun shined clear and bright in the morning, a nipping cold sent the mercury plummeting, one degree down from last night. The weather office said it would clear by forenoon, but chilly winds, a direct off-shoot of western disturbances and snowfall, were expected to persist for the next few days.

For the next 24 hours, the Met office has predicted a clear sky in the Capital, but the minimum temperature could further fall to four degree Celsius.

While an international TV news channel has predicted freezing temperatures in Delhi on Sunday and Monday, the IMD is disagreeing with the prediction by saying that such a condition is not likely to occur.

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