The Telegraph
Monday , December 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Brace for gloomy mornings
Fog and cold here to stay for a week

A deserted Frazer Road off Gandhi Maidan is a delight for commuters. But Harishankar Singh could drive his car only at a speed of 20kmph on Saturday night, around 11.30.

Reason: The Gardanibagh resident had to negotiate the dense fog that had enveloped the city.

“I don’t think the visibility was more than 100m. I had switched on the parking and the fog lights because a dense haze had enveloped the road,” said Singh.

He found similar foggy conditions near Patna zoo and the surrounding areas on his way back home at 12midnight.

Most residents of the capital woke up to a haze-filled morning on Sunday. Till noon, there was no respite, forcing most residents to stay at home.

“It was a Sunday, so it was soothing to stay wrapped in a blanket and sip the morning cup of tea. However, I fear going to the office in such chilly conditions on Monday,” said Amit Kumar, an employee of a private firm in Patna.

While office-goers would be forced to brave such chilly conditions, schoolchildren can expect some respite in the form of early winter vacation.

Shamael Ahmed, the president of Private Schools and Children Welfare Association, said on Sunday: “Since freezing cold and foggy weather have gripped Bihar, the authorities of all the 2,500 private schools across the state have been asked to start the day from 8.30am and continue till 2pm from Monday. The winter vacation would start from December 21 if such weather condition continues.”

Going by the claims of the weathermen, people would have to bear the bone-chilling cold and dense foggy condition for another week.

Senior officials of India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna, were not available for a comment. However, Animesh Chanda, the director (radar) of IMD regional headquarters, Calcutta, said: “Fog is a seasonal phenomenon in Bihar. It normally happens around mid-December and continues for a fortnight. The fog is entering from the west and moving eastwards. It is expected to continue over the next couple of days.”

The misty conditions threw the air and train schedule off track. The fog delayed arrival of several flights on Sunday morning. The first flight arrived here around 2.30pm. (See chart)

Train timings, too, went for a toss as fog kept many trains waiting for a clearer visibility.

More than 24 trains under East Central Railway division were running late on Sunday. However, not a single one was cancelled.

Trains like Magadh Express (12402), Rajendra Nagar Jan Sadharan Express (12387), Sampoorna Kranti Express (12394), Vikramshila Express (12368) and Toofan Express (13007) were delayed by around 10 hours.

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