Lucknow, Dec 24 : It is Lucknow but feels like Srinagar. With temperatures plummeting to 9 degree Celsius on Tuesday morning and a thick blanket of fog engulfing the City of Nawabs, it is, perhaps, the coldest winter that has been experienced in recent years.
The city is unusually cold and desolate – quite like Srinagar in winters.
Schools and colleges have been closed from December 19 due to extreme cold wave conditions.
The recent violence during anti-citizenship law protests, has further queered the pitch, leading to cancellation of various examinations.
However, instead of children enjoying the unexpected holidays, they are being forced to remain indoors due to the uneasy calm that prevails in the state capital and other cities as well.
“Santa Claus is waiting for children but there are none. The shopping malls have been decorated for Christmas and New Year but the cheer is missing,” said Ranu Kapoor who runs a bakery outlet in a shopping mall in Hazratganj.
The streets are deserted, mainly because app-based cabs have gone off roads due to Internet shutdown.
For the poor, the dipping temperatures increase their misery. Five persons have died due to extreme cold wave in Kanpur.
Though the chief minister Yogi Adityanath has directed all concerned officials to ensure that the homeless sleep in winter shelters and bonfires are lit at various places, the district officials are pre-occupied with maintenance of law and order.
“Our priority is to ensure peace and we are also making arrangements to protect the homeless from cold,” said a district magistrate.
The Met department has predicted a further dip in temperatures from December 25 till January 3 after which there may be some respite from cold.
“The reason for these cold days is a low-lying cloud cover over the north Indian plains, which could have been due to moisture incursion caused by the incoming western disturbances and the induced cyclonic circulations over the region since the beginning of December. This has also caused significant precipitation, both snow and rain, in the region which preceded the cold day conditions in many places,” said a Met official.