Cold wave kills 29 people in north India

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TNN | Jan 8, 2013, 04.54 AM IST

NEW DELHI: There was no respite from the cold wave across north India on Monday as the mercury dipped close to the freezing point at several places in the region and killed 29 more people, mounting the toll from it this season to around 200.

Officials said six people died in Ghazipur, three each in Azamgarh and Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh. Two deaths were reported from Fatehpur, Sultanpur and Chandauli besides one each in Jaunpur and Siddhartnagar in the state that had reported the maximum cold-related deaths - 175 - this season.

Three more people died in Amritsar that recorded a low of 1.8 degree C, while Patiala and Ludhiana shivered at 2.4 and 2.7. The cold snap has killed 13 people in Punjab and eight in Haryana so far.

Officials said four people died of cold in Uttarakhand's Haridwar, where the minimum temperature touched one degree C, and two in Rajasthan's Bundi.

Agra was the coldest place in Uttar Pradesh with a low of just 0.6 degree above the freezing point. Muzaffarnagar shivered with a minimum temperature of 0.7 degree C, seven notches below normal.

The dipping mercury forced the state government to order closure of all schools up to class VIII till January 12.

Thick fog blanketing large swathes of the region dipped the mercury besides disrupting air, road and rail traffic. The Met office predicted relief from the foggy conditions in next 48 hours but dry icy winds would continue to lash the region.

Narnaul in Haryana was the coldest place in the state with the mercury plunging three degrees below freezing point, the lowest in 15 years. Hisar shivered at a low of 0.8 degree C. The mercury in the town had slipped to a low of minus 1.1 degree C early on Sunday.

Keylong was the coldest place in Himachal Pradesh with a minimum temperature of minus 10.9 and Leh in Jammu & Kashmir with a low of minus 18.0 degree C.