Nikhila Pant Dhawan
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, January 8
Intense cold wave that has hit the north India, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in its grip, also swept across Bathinda and its adjoining areas, with the weather remaining mainly dry even as fog disrupted road and rail traffic in the region.
Absence of sun and dew hanging heavy in the air added to the chill and resulted in the mercury plummeting by several notches. On Thursday, the mercury plummeted with the minimum temperature settling at 3.6 degree Celsius, a fall of around four notches from Wednesday. The maximum temperature too registered a sharp fall from Wednesday’s 15.4 degrees and settled at 11.6 degrees Celsius.
As per the Agri-met Department of the PAU regional centre in Bathinda, the region will get no respite from the chill in the coming days as the weather condition would continue to remain dry thereby causing dense fog in large parts of the region. Weather expert, Dr Rajkumar, from the PAU regional centre stated that the cold weather condition would prevail for the next two to three days as there is no possibility of the region receiving rainfall.
The Indian Meteorological Department also predicted clear weather for the region with a possibility of rainfall in sporadic areas of the region in the next week. As per the forecast released by the IMD for the next seven days, the minimum temperature would continue to hover around 4 degree Celsius while the maximum would be recorded around 13 degree Celsius.
Rail traffic hit
Hundreds of passengers are having a harrowing time as the chilly weather has hit the rail traffic badly in the region. The prevailing foggy conditions in the region have disrupted the rail traffic as almost all the trains passing through the city station have been reportedly running behind schedule causing inconvenience to the passengers besides keeping the rail officials of the division on their toes.
While few of the trains have been cancelled till February, some other important trains are reportedly running several hours behind the schedule. While the railway officials maintain that the rail service has been hit due to low visibility in several parts of Northern India during the night and early morning hours, they also suggested that the passengers check the arrival and departure time status of the trains on the Internet or through the helpline number before arriving at the station.
Driving in the fog
Due to dense early morning fog in Bathinda and its adjoining areas, the rail and road traffic have been badly hit. Driving experts suggested that while driving in fog, one should use headlights on low beam along with wipers and demisters. It would also be safe to maintain extra distance from the vehicle moving ahead.
It is better to be cautious at all times. The moisture in the air may continuously gather on the windshield. Adjust the defroster and windshield wiper speed as necessary. Use emergency signal. It is also advisable to use fog lights or driving lights (if equipped) as many vehicles now come with factory-fitted fog or driving lights.
As against the common perception, it is not very wise to tail someone’s rear lights as it can give a false sense of security and is dangerous. Also make sure that you don’t accelerate to get away from a vehicle that is too close behind you and always see the mirrors before you slow down.
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