No respite in sight for Lucknow's cold blues
It was 5 degrees Celsius on Thursday morning when school children ventured out of their home to reach their schools here in the Uttar Pradesh capital.
Lucknow has been experiencing an unusually harsh winter this year. Thick fog envelopes the City of Nawabs and visibility is not more than a few metres in the morning. Even though the fog clears up as the day advances, but sunshine remains elusive.
Met experts said that the reason for the cold conditions 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.
Wearing monkey caps, coats and warm socks, the little ones were denied a holiday because the Lucknow District Magistrate left it to the school to decide whether to remain open or not -- and most schools remained open.
Schools in Lucknow had been closed since Friday after violence erupted during the protests against the newq citizenship law here.
"We cannot keep the schools closed any longer. We are leaving it to the school authorities to take a decision on this issue," said a district official.
For the homeless, the winter has brought added misery. The makeshift shelter homes do not offer much comfort from freezing temperatures and icy winds.
The bonfires being lit by the municipal corporations are ‘taken over' by the policemen on duty.
"Every night, the cops come and shoo us away. They do their duty around the bonfire and homeless people like me are left to die in the open," said Ashok, 70, a beggar at the Hazratganj crossing.
After a six-day Internet shutdown, life is yet to return to normal in Lucknow. Telecom services have been restored but signals remain feeble due to damage to cables during the protests.
Most workers of app-based food and cab services have returned to their home during the shutdown and are now beginning to return to work.
The Met department director J.P. Gupta, meanwhile, said that there was no change expected in the weather condition this week.
"There is a possibility of rain in the next three or four days," he said.IANS