North India under grip of enduring cold wave, death toll reaches 233 in UP


In spite of marginal improvement in temperatures, mercury levels in north India on Thursday continued to be low enough to give people a lot of discomfort. The minimum temperature in New Delhi rose to 4.4 degree Celsius from its previous 3.3 degree Celsius on Wednesday.

The homeless were worst hit by the winter, as Delhi's pavements played home to many who huddled together in shared blankets in a desperate effort to keep themselves warm. At least 34 more deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh, taking the death toll to 233 people.

Lucknow recorded minus 0.7 degree Celsius on Wednesday, Srinagar got some respite with the night temperature climbing by five degrees from minus 5.5 to 0.3 degree Celsius.

The state capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, witnessed foggy weather conditions, as rickshaw pullers in the city struggled to make ends meet.

"It is very cold, and doing our work is very difficult. We are facing a lot of trouble because of this weather," said Mohammad Sami, a rickshaw puller.

Locals said the chill has been fatal to animals as well.

"More dogs have died than people. There were eight dogs lying on the road when I came, dead because of the cold. Imagine how bad it must be for humans. This is the coldest winter since 1970," said a local, Harish Singh.

Although not cold by the standards of Europe and North America, the drop in temperature can have a devastating effect on the hundreds of thousands of homeless people in India.

Winters in northern India have become colder in recent years and weather officials have said temperatures are expected to stay low over the next few days.

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