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Cold wave in North India claims 443 lives

Source: PTI
January 20, 2010 11:39 IST
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The cold wave continues to disrupt normal life across North India and the death toll due to the extreme harsh weather is now reported to be over 443.

Uttar Pradesh has alone accounted for over 414 cold related deaths. In Delhi, a thick blanket of fog engulfed the region on Wednesday morning affecting road, air and rail traffic. Around eighteen flights have been rescheduled that includes 11 domestic and seven international flights. The flights to Amritsar, Kullu, Jaipur, Agartala and Imphal have been rescheduled. 

Around 50 Delhi-bound trains are reported to be running behind schedule. The dense fog has also disrupted normal life in Punjab and Haryana as well visibility being reduced to a few meters.

The Meteorological office said that Amritsar in Punjab recorded a temperature of minus 0.8 degree Celsius. The night temperature recorded in Patiala was 5.5 degree Celsius, while in Ludhiana it was 6 degree Celsius and Chandigarh recorded a temperature of 5.7 degree Celsius.  In Haryana, Ambala recorded a temperature of 4.9 degree Celsius, Rohtak recorded a temperature of 6.2 degree Celsius and the temperature recorded in Karnal was 7 degree Celsius.

With the mercury dipping below normal, the cold conditions worsened in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir. The night temperature recorded in Srinagar was minus 1.2 degree Celsius.  Both Pahalgam and Kupwara recorded a temperature of minus 1.9 degree Celsius, the coldest in the valley.  The temperature recorded in Jammu was 5.2 degree Celsius.

In Ladakh, Leh recorded a temperature of minus 12.4 deg Celsius followed by Kargil that recorded a temperature of minus 11 deg Celsius. 

SC order

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Delhi Government to take immediate steps to provide adequate shelter to the homeless in view of the severe cold wave conditions prevailing in the capital.

A bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari also asked the government to provide food to the downtrodden as most of the deaths relating to cold were on account of malnourishment.

The apex court said the secretary, food and civil supplies, should appear before it at 2 pm so that appropriate orders could be passed in this regard.

The apex court passed the directions on a PIL filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), complaining that the Delhi administration had failed to provide adequate shelter and food to the homeless and destitutes.

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