Nepalgunj, December 22
Cold wave coupled with dense fog has thrown life out of gear in Banke and Bardiya districts in western Tarai.
Excessive cold has forced people to stay inside their houses. People’s movement has significantly reduced in the main market areas. Impoverished and homeless people have been hit hard by the bone-biting cold.
People come out of their houses only during emergencies. Vehicular movement on the highways have also significantly reduced and vehicles that ply the roads are seen turning on head lights due to dense fog.
Chief at Field Office of Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Nepalgunj, Pal Bahadur Bishwokarma said the region experienced excessive cold after sudden change in the weather. Patients, children and elderly people have found themselves at the receiving end. Meanwhile, the local administration has issued a notice urging people to take special care of children and elderly people during the cold season.
Banke Chief District Officer Kumar Bahadur Khadka said he had been coordinating with the local levels to manage firewood and warm clothes for the impoverished and homeless people in the district.
Chief Consultant Physician at Bheri Zonal Hospital Dr Rajan Pandey said patients suffering from heart diseases, respiratory problems and rheumatism had been badly affected due to sudden change in the weather. He added the number of patients suffering from cold-related diseases had surged at the hospital of late.
Nepalgunj Division Forest Office has started distributing firewood to locals. DFO Chief Mohan Shrestha said firewood had been distributed to every household in Nepalgunj sub-metropolis.
Similarly, several morning flights from Nepalgunj airport were affected due to dense fog. Nepalgunj-Kathmandu flight and other flights to hilly districts such as Humla, Jumla, Mugu, Bajura and Dolpa, among other districts, were affected causing inconvenience to hundreds of passengers.
Chief at Nepalgunj Civil Aviation Office Prem Nath Thakur said flights to Mugu and Bajura scheduled for Friday and Saturday had been cancelled due to poor visibility. “Runways in Mugu and Bajura have been covered in snow,” he added. He also informed that all morning flights from Nepalgunj airport had also been cancelled today.
A version of this article appears in print on December 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.