North India continues to shiver as the year draws to an end. Talking of Jammu and Kashmir, cold wave conditions intensified. With the 40 day period of Chillai kalan continuing, Srinagar saw the mercury remaining at minus 6.7 degrees. The edges of the Dal lake are frozen. People thronged markets to buy ‘Harissa’, a traditional meat delicacy that is served only during the winters.
Leh town in Ladakh region recorded the lowest temperature this winter as mercury plummeted to minus 17.1C last night. The night temperature in Jammu city was recorded at 3.5C, the season’s lowest. Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi Shrine, in Reasi district saw a minimum of 4.2C.
The situation is similar in Himachal Pradesh. The lowest temperature in the state was recorded in tribal district Lahaul and Spiti’s Keylong at minus 11.1 degrees Celsius. The Chandra River has frozen over with temperatures dipping. However, Shimla was pleasant at 2.7 degrees Celsius.
Tourists and locals were seen enjoying the weather in Shimla by ice skating.
What began as a foggy morning in Delhi quickly cleared up though the minimum temperature dropped to 3.6 degrees Celsius, the lowest this winter in the wee hours of the morning. The worst hit were the homeless who are forced to spend the night under open skies.
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana too faced severe cold.
The night temperatures in Agra dipped forcing people to step out wearing multiple layers of clothing. Many were seen warming their hands around small fires. Gorakhpur, Shamli and Moradabad too battled the cold.
On the pollution front, the situation in the National Capital remained grim. Low wind speeds resulted in a spike in suspended particulate matter.
Though the situation has improved marginally since Sunday when the national capital recorded its second-highest pollution level of the year, authorities are monitoring the situation before deciding on steps to tackle the situation.