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Bitter cold wave leaves North India shivering, fog causes traffic jams

Bitter cold wave leaves North India shivering, fog causes traffic jamsDharamsala/Gorakhpur/Lucknow, Jan 9 - An intense cold wave and dense fog disrupted normal live in most parts of North India on Thursday.

The fog hit rail traffic with dozens of trains running behind schedule or cancelled. The visibility dropped below 100 metres.

Meanwhile, the mercury dropped to freezing point in northern hill town of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh province, leading to formation of frost on plants.

The weather department of India informed that strong western disturbances were approaching north-western part, which will result in heavy snowfall in the region in coming days.

"In the higher reaches, there is continuous snowfall because of which tourists are being able to travel around and enjoy the scenic view. Major roads are blocked, adding to the miseries. We hope that in the coming days, we are hopeful the snowfall stops," said a shopkeeper, Suresh Jain.

People were seen sitting around bonfires on pavements in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Commuters at a railway station also complained of delays, affecting their day-to-day life.

"We have to go to Lucknow but I have been waiting at the railway station for over four hours now. My train is delayed by another two hours. It is so cold at the railway station. I have sitting her for a long time. The railway administration has not put any provisions in place. I have to attend classes, but I cannot do that," said Brijesh Jha, a college student who commutes by train.

Meanwhile, authorities in Uttar Pradesh also introduced night shelters or 'Raain Basera' for the poor to save them from the intense cold wave.

However, people at the night shelters complained of inadequate facilities forcing them to sleep on the pavements.

"There is no provision of wood or bonfire to keep us warm. The night shelter cannot protect us from the biting cold. We are forced to sleep like this," said a daily wage worker, Dharmesh Singh. (ANI)