Heat scorches north India (Roundup)

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Most parts of north India reeled under intense heat Monday with no respite in sight Tuesday, with the temperature touching a scorching 46.2 degrees Celsius at Palam airport here.

It was a hot start to the week in the national capital Monday with the temperature shooting up to five notches above average at 44.5 degrees Celsius, recorded at Safdarjang airport. No respite seems to be in sight as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the mercury may touch 45 degrees within the city Tuesday.

In Palam area of south Delhi, where the Indira gandhi International and domestic airports of the capital are located, the temperature stood at 46.2 degrees Celsius, five notches above what is the average for this time of the season.

In Agra, Utar Pradesh, few pedestrians were seen on the rods, and tourists were few and far between at the Taj Mahal and other monuments with the temperature a tad short of 46 degrees Celsius Monday.

Monday’s temperature in Agra was the same as on Sunday, the hottest day this summer, at 45.9 degrees Celsius. “The heat took its toll. A tourist collapsed at the Taj Mahal due to heat stroke. A foreign visitor had to be given emergency medical treatment,” an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official said.

ASI officials said they had made arrangements for carpets, shoe covers and water bottles for tourists and visitors at the Taj Mahal.

Even in the usually cool hills of Himachal Pradesh, mercury continued to rise Monday with temperatures one to seven degrees Celsius above the season’s average.

Shimla, at an altitude of 2,130 metres, was “hot” at 29.5 degrees Celsius, a whopping seven notches above what is the average for this time of the season in the “queen of hills”. It recorded a high of 29.1 degrees Celsius Sunday.

An IMD official said that Una town on the Punjab border was the hottest in Himachal Pradesh at 43 degrees Celsius, while it was 34.8 degrees in Dharamsala – 4.5 notches above average – 39.4 degrees in Sundernagar in Mandi district, 30 degrees in Manali, and 25 degrees in Kalpa town.

Punjab and Haryana continued to reel under intense heat with temperatures at some places crossing 45 degrees Celsius Monday, Met officials said here.

Temperatures remained five to seven degrees above normal across both states.

Chandigarh had a high of 43 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal.

Hisar in Haryana was the hottest in the state with the mercury hitting a high of 46 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal for this time of the season.

Bhiwani recorded a high of 45.2 degrees while Narnaul recorded a high of 45 degrees.

In Punjab, Amritsar was the hottest with a high of 45.6 degrees. Ludhiana and Patiala both had a high of 44.8 degrees.

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