Calcutta, Jan. 13: The mercury is expected to dip further in the state in the next 24 hours, the weatherman warned today.
Deputy director-general of the regional meteorological centre R.N. Goldar said the temperature is likely to plummet due to the biting north wind cutting across the state at about 15 km per hour.
The city recorded a minimum temperature of 10.3 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal, this morning. In Dum Dum, it was 9.7 degrees. On Friday, Calcutta had recorded a minimum of 9.8 degrees, the lowest in a decade.
The state has been reeling under a severe chilly spell over the past week.
“The entire north India is in the grip of a severe cold wave and the north wind is blowing very strongly at about 10 to 15 km per hour from Bihar and Jharkhand. Under its influence, the temperature might dip further in Calcutta and elsewhere on Tuesday,” Goldar said.
Patna recorded a minimum temperature of 3 degrees Celsius today. Officials said there is a low-temperature warning for Bihar and Jharkhand as well.
Soon after learning about the forecast, relief department officials got in touch with district magistrates and asked them to take appropriate measures like distributing blankets among the poor.
“We alerted all the district magistrates this morning. I personally spoke to the district magistrates of Malda, Murshidabad, Bankura, Purulia and Birbhum,” relief secretary Nikhilesh Das said.
Weather officials said the cold wave continues to sweep across districts, including Darjeeling, Malda, Murshidabad, Burdwan, Birbhum, West and East Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.
In north Bengal, Bagdogra recorded a minimum temperature of 3.8 degrees Celsius today, the lowest in the plains. Cooch Behar recorded 8.5 degrees, Malda 6.3 and Jalpaiguri 8.
In south Bengal, the lowest temperature (5.2) was recorded in Sriniketan near Shantiniketan in Birbhum district. Bankura recorded 6.2 degrees Celsius, Behrampore 6.5, Contai 8, Digha 8.4, Midnapore 8, Krishnagar 8, Burdwan 9, Diamond Harbour 8.2 and Uluberia 8.2 degrees.
Burdwan district magistrate Manoj Agarwal said his office has received the relief department’s alert and appropriate steps are being taken. “I have asked all block development officers to get in touch with the panchayats and give us feedback on their requirements for blankets and fuel, which the relief department is ready to distribute,” Agarwal said.
In Behrampore, district magistrate Manoj Panth said he has despatched 400 blankets to each of the five subdivisions of Behrampore, Kandi, Jangipur, Lalbagh and Domkal. “The Red Cross, too, has distributed about a thousand warm blankets in some of the areas,” Panth said.
The district magistrate added that he has not received any further requisition for relief material.