Cold wave grips UP, schools closed till Monday

Lucknow, Jan 5 : A cold wave sweeping over Uttar Pradesh intensified on Friday as the Met forecast more harsh weather in the coming days. All schools upto Class 12 have been closed till Monday, an official said.

Lucknow, Agra, Bareilly, Kanpur, Varanasi and Allahabad district authorities have ordered the schools to close.

Many parts of the state have been hit by fog and poor visibility, with traffic on most state and national highways disrupted completely.

More than 30 trains were running behind schedule and the Shatabdi Express between New Delhi and Lucknow has been cancelled following its late arrival in Lucknow on Thursday.

At least four persons have been killed in fog related accidents in the state in the past 24-hours.

Regional Met Office Director J.P. Gupta said the maximum temperature in Lucknow was likely to hover around 13-14 degrees Celsius on Friday while the minimum temperature was recorded at seven degrees Celsius.

Allahabad recorded a low of 6.4, Jhansi (6), Kanpur (7.5) and Varanasi 6.4 degrees Celsius.

Icy winds blowing across the state was making life difficult and the sun has been playing hide and seek adding to the winter bite.

Conditions at many night shelters in the state continued to be dismal, despite instructions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure proper arrangements.

Adityanath had conducted a surprise inspection at two night shelters in the state capital here on Wednesday and made a brief stop over at night shelters in Varanasi on Thursday night.

He has directed officials to ensure that bonfires were lit at public places and that adequate blankets were distributed among the poor and the destitute.

A government spokesman informed that in pursuance of Adityanath’s orders till December 27, 2017, a total of 23,657 bonfires were lit across the state and 1,64,276 free blankets distributed to the needy and 708 night shelters were established in the state.

There have, however, been many complaints with regard to the bonfires as people alleged that most of the wood was being dropped outside or near the houses of Ministers and state officials, depriving the homeless and needy.