India cold wave claims dozens of lives in north

Delhi residents in cold snap Thick fog and cold have enveloped Delhi

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At least 26 people have died in a cold wave sweeping through northern India, the country's state broadcaster Doordarshan News says.

The majority of deaths were in the state of Uttar Pradesh, according to media reports.

Punjab and Haryana are among the other northern states badly hit.

Last week the country's Supreme Court ordered states to provide adequate night shelters for the homeless during the winter.

"You should not allow even a single person to die this winter from the freezing cold," the judges said. Most deaths take place among the homeless and elderly.

Schools shut

Heavy fog and a cold wave have disrupted life across northern India with temperatures dropping to 2.2C in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

A number of flights were delayed by fog at Calcutta airport.

The capital Delhi is also in the throes of a cold snap, with temperatures dipping to 5C and fog disrupting flight schedules.

Dozens of train services have also been disrupted, with many of them hours behind schedule.

The cold wave has forced schools to shut in the state of Bihar until 25 December, reports said.

Water supply pipes in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, froze as temperatures plummeted to 2.8C.

An official from the India Meteorological Department said the cold weather would continue for a number of days.

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