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North India reels under cold wave, death toll at 122

Jan 05, 2010

New Delhi - Cold wave continues to have North India in its grip with the death toll rising to 122 as temperature have dropped drastically in many areas.

Most parts of the Kashmir valley, including Srinagar experienced snowfall once again on Monday.

Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of -1.2°C while Kargil recorded -15.8°C.

Upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh also witnessed snowfall while Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Bihar are reeling under intense cold conditions.

Heavy snowfall in Himachal Pradesh has also left hundreds of tourists stranded.

In Manali many of tourists had no choice but to sleep in their cars as they got stuck in the snow.

Despite a clear sky on Monday, traffic could not resume and over 250 vehicles remained stuck. Local administration and police have managed to rescue about 1,000 tourists from stranded vehicles.

"Because of sudden snowfall over 250 vehicles got stuck in the valley. As per the information provided to us 17 vehicles managed an escape from the snow but 150 vehicles remained stuck on the road. Our traffic police staff and policemen from neighbouring police stations managed to rescue 100-150 vehicles and some 900 to 1,000 tourists," said Aashish Sharma, Manali DSP.

"What to say. The situation is very bad. We have come from Shimla. Since the weather was good in the morning, we came here but suddenly due to heavy snowfall we are stuck in the car. We slept in the car during night in this chilly weather," said taxi driver Naresh.

Cold and thick fog continued to engulf most of Northern India with the mercury dipping much below the normal at several places resulting in trains being delayed or detained and passengers left stranded at several stations.

Uttar Pradesh government on Monday also approved Rs 10.84 crore for the homeless and poor.

The money will be used to provide bonfire and blankets to those who are unable to afford them.

In Gujarat, too, a beggar died on Monday due to extreme cold condition.

North India reels under cold wave, death toll at 122
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