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Winter chill to continue, IMD warns of further dip in temperature; at least 70 killed in UP

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New Delhi: Harsh weather conditions are likely to continue as the temperature across north India is expected to further decline in the coming days, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“Currently minimum temperature in Himachal is one – two degrees below the normal and temperature during the day is normal. No significant western disturbance is expected in next one week. Temperature is likely to drop by one-two degrees in coming days,” said Manmohan Singh, IMD Director, Shimla.

After fresh snowfall in the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh, the cold wave has intensified in the region.

 

Keylong in Lahaul Spiti is the coldest with temperature ranging around -7 degrees Celsius.

Further, Kalpa in the Kinnaur district recorded -4 degrees Celsius.

Popular hill stations Manali and Shimla recorded -2.4 degrees and 2.1 degrees Celsius respectively.

Dense fog and reducing visibility is affecting the road, rail and air traffic resulting in train delays, cancellation and rescheduling of flight operations at various airports.

At least 70 killed in UP due to intense cold Extreme cold wave conditions prevailed in most parts of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. Lack of night shelters and amenities have already led to the death of over 70 homeless and poor people.
Twenty-two deaths have been reported from Poorvanchal; three each in Brij and Bareilly divisions; 11 in Allahabad division and 28 in Bundelkhand region, according to IANS.

Two persons – Ram Kishore Rawat, 40, and Mahesh, 35, have died in Barabanki district due to the severe cold. One person died in Harchandpur in Faizabad, an infant in Ambedkarnagar, one in Rae Bareli’s Makhdoompur and one in Unchahaar.
A government official said that adequate arrangements have been made for bonfires and night shelters, though the ground realities were in stark contrast to these claims.

At many places in the state capital here, the claims have fallen flat in the last 48-hours.

Reports suggest that most bonfires have been taken over by “VVIPs” and were being lit outside the bungalows of Ministers, political leaders and the who’s who in power.

Allegations by people and social groups have forced Lucknow Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia to call for an explanation from the city Commissioner on this bias in the logwood distribution.

She has admitted that she has been getting calls of biased distribution of wood meant for bonfires at public places.

Sultanpur district has remained the coldest in the past 24 hours with the mercury dipping to 2.8 degrees Celsius.

Lucknow shivered at three degrees Celsius. Friday was incidentally the coldest day of the season as well.

The weatherman has predicted that the cold wave would not subside for the next few days and the temperatures were only likely to improve after January 10.

Bahraich recorded 3.4 degrees Celsius, Muzaffarnagar (4.9), Kanpur (4.2), Barabanki (3.4), while Varanasi, Meerut and Lakhimpur Kheri were all at five degrees Celsius.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath has recently inspected the night shelters and directed the authorities to ensure basic amenities to the poor and downtrodden.


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Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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