New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) Winter continued to cast itsspell over east and north India today with Kolkata witnessingthe coldest day in the last seven years and Delhi waking up tothe second chilliest morning of the season.
Icy winds claimed seven more lives in Uttar Pradesh,taking the statewide toll to 113 this winter, while one deathdue to chill was reported from Punjab, where cold wave killed11 people till now this season.Temperature dipped to 9.6 degrees Celsius, four notchesbelow normal, for the first time in seven years in the ''Cityof Joy'' as cold wave tightened its grip in West Bengal.
Mercury had plummeted to 9.3 deg C on January 22, 2003 inthe metropolis.
Darjeeling at minimum -1 deg C was the coldest in theregion. Elsewhere, Malda recorded a minimum of 4.6 deg C,followed by Nadia 5.1 deg C and Burdwan 5.5 deg C.
Though Delhiites woke up to the second coldest morning ofthe season with the minimum temperature dropping to 3.9 deg C,a bright sunshine later in the day brought warmth and easedout a shallow fog.
The lowest temperature had dropped to 3.7 deg C onJanuary 4, the season''s lowest so far, in Delhi.
The maximum temperature for the day was recorded at 21.3deg C, which is normal for this time of the the season, andthree degrees above yesterday''s high of 19.2 deg C.
Flight operations at the IGI airport remained normal forthe third consecutive day despite a drop in the visibility dueto moderate fog.
While two persons each died in Uttar Pradesh''s Fathepurand Pratapgarh, one death each was reported from Bahraich,Sitapur and Barabanki.
The state capital Lucknow at 0.8 deg C was the coldest inthe state. Varanasi recorded a low of 2.2 deg C, while Kanpurshivered at 1.9 deg C and it was 3.6 deg C in Allahabad.
Intense chill prevailed in Bihar with Gaya recording thelowest minimum 3.1 deg C in the state.
Patna recorded a minimum of 3.7 deg C, while it was 4.3deg C in Purnia.
Cold conditions aggravated in the state and neighbouringHaryana where dense fog threw train traffic out of gear.
An unidentified man died at Lalru in Punjab.
A thick blanket of fog reduced visibility to just a fewmetres in most parts of the region following which severaltrains were running late.Amritsar in Punjab was the coldest in the state with alow of 1.6 deg C, while Ludhiana braved minimum 1.9 deg C.
Hisar in Haryana settled at a low of 2.8 deg C, whilePatiala shivered at 3.3 deg Celsius.
The minimum temperature at Chandigarh was 3.7 deg C. MOREPTI TEAM
Jammu and Kashmir continued to reel under intense cold conditions with Leh recording a minimum of -17.1 deg C.
Mercury settled at minimum -15 deg C in Kargil.
Srinagar recorded a low of -0.5 deg C, while it was 1.7deg C in Kupwara and -2.5 in Pahalgam.
Gulmarg skiing resort at -8.5 deg C was the coldest placein the Kashmir Valley.
The desert state of Rajasthan got some respite from coldconditions as mercury rose by a few degrees in most parts ofthe state.Sriganganagar was the coldest at 1.5 deg C.
Elsewhere, Jaipur recorded minimum 6.3 deg C, Churu 4.4deg C and Dabok 5.4 deg C.
Piercing cold wave continued to lash Himachal Pradeshwith the temperature in high altitude areas hovering between-10 deg C and -23 deg C.
People had to melt ice to meet their water requirements.
Keylong in Lahaul recorded a low of -12.4 deg C, while itwas -5.2 deg C at Kalpa in Spiti and Kinnaur.
The state capital Shimla had marginal relief as minimumtemperature rose to 6 deg C.
Elsewhere, Sundernagar recorded minimum 0.9 deg C, ,Bhuntar 0.8 deg C and Solan 1.2 deg C.