As biting cold gripped northern India on Tuesday, thick fog caused multiple accidents, killing three people and injuring 40 others, and prompted measures in affected states such as suspending nighttime bus operations, lowering speed limits in some areas and changing school time.
Thick fog blanketed India’s Ganges plain, including Delhi, on Tuesday morning, reducing visibility in the city to 50 meters and affecting road traffic and train operations.
However, an airport official said flight operations in the capital had not been affected. On Tuesday, 11 trains were reported to be between one and five hours late.
An IMD official said that between 5.30 am and 7 am, visibility was reduced to 50 meters at Delhi’s Param and Safdarjun airports.
Delhi’s main weather station, Safdarjung Observatory, recorded a minimum temperature of 6.3 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal. The maximum temperature is likely to be stable at around 22 degrees Celsius.
The minimum and maximum temperatures in Delhi may drop to 5C and 20C respectively in the coming days.
Satellite images showed a thick layer of fog hanging over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, northern Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the morning.
Noticing the dense fog and the resulting accidents, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday night stopped state highway buses running at night.
One person was killed and 24 were injured when a bus collided with a truck on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, due to low visibility due to thick fog, police said.
In another incident, a truck laden with lentils hit a highway divider and overturned in the Dudri area of Greater Noida, police said.
The maximum speed limit on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway has now been fixed from 100 km/h to 75 km/h in view of reduced visibility due to increasing fog, officials said Tuesday night.
Vehicles are also restricted to a maximum speed of 65 kilometers per hour on some other routes in Noida, and motorists violating the speed limit face legal action or penalties, or both, according to an official statement. .
A truck driver was killed and six others were injured in a multi-vehicle collision on the Bulandshahr-Aligarh road in Bulandshahr, Arnia, police said.
Police said two of the injured were being treated in Aligarh and Brandshahr, while others continued their journey with minor injuries.
In Kaushambi, Nitish (25) and his friend were traveling on a motorcycle when their two-wheeler crashed into a stationary truck near the Sayara flyover on the Prayagraj-Kanpur road at about 9am, police said. , due to poor visibility.
Nitish died in the accident while his friend was referred to SRN Hospital in Prayagraj in critical condition, they said.
Police said eight people were injured when their van rammed into a stationary truck in Sitapur due to poor visibility, while four other passengers were seriously injured in the accident near Kalli village in the Misrikh police station area.
According to Mohammad Dansh, head of the Lucknow Zonal Meteorological Center, dense fog will appear in the northeastern and southern parts of the state in the morning and evening.
“Due to thick fog and increasing accidents, the government has stopped running Uttar Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses at night. An order has been issued to the company’s district manager,” Transport Minister Dayashankar Singh told reporters on the show’s sideline.
However, he did not elaborate on the new schedule for the buses.
Dense fog on Tuesday morning also reduced visibility across much of Haryana and Punjab, affecting traffic.
Two police vehicles in the convoy of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala crashed on the Hisar-Sirsa highway, police said. A bodyguard was injured.
All others, including Chootala, were safe, they said.
Police said the deputy chief minister was traveling from Hisar to Sirsa when the accident happened on Monday night due to thick fog.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwantman announced that due to the foggy weather, all schools in the state will open at 10 am from December 21 to January 21.
Mann tweeted: “Government, aided, accredited and private schools are in session December 21, 2022 to January 21, 2023 in light of the state’s dense smog impacting the safety of students and teachers in schools 10 o’clock in the morning.” .
Currently, school starts at 9:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm.
In Haryana, Narnaul will be cold with a minimum of 4.5 degrees Celsius. Hisar recorded a stable minimum temperature of 6 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological Department.
In Punjab, Bathinda is the coldest place with temperatures as low as 3.4 degrees Celsius.
Amritsar also experienced a cold night with a minimum of 6.8C
The lowest temperature recorded in Chandigarh, the shared capital of the two countries, was 7.6 degrees Celsius.
Cold snap to severe cold snap conditions are possible in remote parts of Haryana and Punjab, while dense to very dense fog is likely to occur over most of the next 4 to 5 days, the meteorological department said.
Meanwhile, a cold snap intensified in Kashmir on Tuesday, with temperatures dipping just below freezing, a day ahead of “Chilla-i-Kalan,” the harshest 40-day winter, officials said.
They said Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius last night, while the Gulmarg resort in the Baramulla district of northern Kashmir recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius.
The weather service is forecasting colder nights in the coming days as minimum temperatures drop further. There may be rain or light snow in parts of Kashmir around Christmas.
“Chilla-i-Kalan” is the harshest winter period of 40 days, when a cold wave hits the region, and the temperature drops sharply, causing water bodies to freeze, including the famous Dal Lake here and several parts of the valley of the region’s water supply pipeline.
Although “Chillai-Kalan” started on December 21st, it will end on January 30th. Even after that, the cold wave in Kashmir continued with a 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (little cold) and a 10-day ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).