Mathura, 2019.04.02 (VT): Parts of North India, including Mathura-Vrindavan, are once again in the grip of an intense cold-wave and fog. Temperature went plummeting in the region, just when people were expecting some respite from the harsh winter towards as Basant Panchami (beginning of spring) is approaching on 10th February.
On Sunday morning, Brajwasis woke up to a 10-12 ft-thick fog which cleared at around 10 am. Roads and markets remained deserted until noon as people preferred to stay indoors. Campfires were lit in many places as night fell.
Farmers had to suffer crop damage due to frost. Potato fields were worst affected.
Mathura DM Sarvagya Ram Mishra declared a two-day holiday (Monday and Tuesday) up to class 8 in all government and private schools. In addition to the risk of transporting children on foggy roads, with temperatures not reaching 20C until later in the day, classrooms are too cold for younger children.
Almost a dozen trains, including the Bhopal Shatabdi were delayed by 5-6 hours. Dense fog crippled the movement of road traffic, particularly on the Yamuna Expressway and Delhi-Agra Highway.
Commuters complained about the faded safety lines and non-functional reflectors on the Expressway and pointed out that broken fencing and stray animals further add to the risk in such weather conditions.
In December, 9 people were injured as vehicles rammed into each other on the Yamuna Expressway due to heavy fog. Little action has been taken to avoid further incidents.