Kumar Rajiv Nayan

Ara:  With mercury dipping all time low this year to 8 degree Celsius on December 12 at Ara, normal live in Bhojpur district was completely paralysed and people were forced to remain indoors. Bone chilling cold wave and foggy condition have thrown life of masses particularly slum dwellers and people living at ranbaseras (shelters) out of gear.

The Meteorological department said that the situation will continue for at least five more days. The westerly wind will start blowing at  a speed of 14 km from December 12 evening and the speed will increase to 19 km on December 13 and 20 km on December 14. People particularly the poor were seen warming their bodies and hands in the bonfire at Shivgang, Gopali Chowk, Sheesh Mahal Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Railway station campus and Gandhi Kushth Ashram. Bhojpur district administration remains insensitive to the plight of the poor.

The womenfolk are badly hit by the cold wave. Meena, a housewife, said that the women had to wash dishes and cloths, scrub floor and cook for the family. Thanks to the indifferent attitude of the officials of Ara Municipal Corporation (AMC), which failed to clean the town, the poor burn these garbage in the night to escape the furry of nature. Though the icy cold wind has battered the Bhojpur district, all the schools in Bhojpur district are open.

Cardiologists like Ashok Kumar Pandey, T P Singh and Dr R Ojha warned people to save themselves from cold and saying in winter cases of heart attacks, strokes and health issues associated with high blood pressure increase. The doctors said low temperature causes narrowing of blood vessels which can be fatal for diabetics, heart, kidney and high blood pressure patients and so such patients need to undergo routine check-ups, regular monitoring of blood pressure and avoid sudden exposure to cold.

Meanwhile, several NGOs and social organizations distributed blankets among the poor spending nights at railway station or roadside or under the open sky. They also arranged for bonfire at several places. Dense fog and very poor visibility paralysed the road and rail traffic. Several trains are either running very late or cancelled causing a lot of problems to the passengers on trains or stranded at different railway stations. Dn Himgiri Express, Up Farakka Express, Up Howrah-Amritsar Mail, Up Mahananda Express, Dn Sampurn Kranti Express trains were cancelled on Monday while Punjab Mail, Magadh Express, Brahmpurta Mail, Kota-Patna were running over 24 hours late on December 12. Bhojpur District Education Officer ordered to run all the government and private schools after 10 am with immediate effect.

The people are seen flocking woolen market to purchase woolen cloths. ‘Modi jacket’ is popular among the people of every age and is being sold at the rate of Rs 500 to Rs 1,500. Kalu Ram, dealing in woolen clothes, said that this year he and others were doing brisk business.

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