The Kathmandu Post, 2 Jan 2018
Cold wave sweeping across the western Tarai region has affected the normal life in various districts.
Dense fog hanging in the atmosphere has made the weather more rough over the last couple of days.
The districts including Kapilvastu, Banke, Bardiya and Kailali are seeing very little sunshine these days because of fog.
According to Nepalgunj field office of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, the minimum temperature plunged to 10.5 degrees Celsius while maximum temperature was recorded at 12 degrees Celsius in Banke on Monday.
Rita Mahato at the Nepalgunj office of the department said that Banke and other neighbouring districts had on received enough sunlight due to fog since Sunday.
Flights are being disrupted on a daily basis owing to poor visibility.
The flights to and from Nepalgunj and Bhairahawa were cancelled on Monday.
Even road transport service has been hit due to fog. Vehicles are plying the streets with their headlights on during day time.
In Kapilvastu, cold temperature and fog have mainly affected schoolchildren, elderly persons and daily wage earners.
The district has barely seen any sunlight in the last three days.
Number of service seekers at government offices has also declined because of the weather, while inertia has descended upon marketplaces as most people are not willing to venture outside from the warm comforts of their homes.
Local administration has also encouraged people to remain indoors, wrap up warm and take preventive measures to stay safe from cold-borne diseases.
The minimum temperature of Kapilvastu hit 6 degrees Celsius on Monday, which is the lowest for this year.
Cold wave has crippled life in Bardiya as well. Many people could be seen sitting around bonfires to keep themselves warm on Monday.
Chief District Officer Narayan Bhattarai said a recent meeting of the District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee has decided to distribute firewood to the public through the recently elected local units, municipalities and rural municipalities this season.
However, many people complained that they had not received any firewood for this winter.
The impact of cold weather has also been witnessed in the number of people with cold-related diseases visiting their local health facilities.
Medical Superintendent of Bardiya District Hospital Dr Subas Pandey said there has been a surge in the number of patients suffering from cold-related diseases, with around 150 people visiting the hospital daily.
The daily number of patients visiting the hospital has nearly doubled, he added.
In Kailali, farmers are concerned that their crops will be damaged because of cold weather.
Man Bahadur Chaudhary, a local farmer, said cold condition and lack of sunshine were causing damage to their crops.
(With inputs from local correspondents)