Statesman News Service
Phulbani, 6 December
Normal life has been thrown out of gear in Kandhamal in the last three days with a cold wave situation prevailing across the district and mercury plunging deep.
The lowest temperature in the district of the season has been reported at 3 degree Celsius and 5.2 degree Celsius at Belghar and Daringbadi respectively, according to an official in the local metrological observatory. The lowest temperatures were reported at 5.30AM today.  The district headquarters town of Phulbani witnessed mercury dipping to a whopping 5.6 degree Celsius, said to be the lowest-ever for the town of the season so far. 
Reports from different parts of the district said that the problems of people have been compounded by the cold wave situation even as a good number of wild birds and fish have reportedly died in several areas including Belghar, Daringbadi, Tumudibandh, Kotagarh, Balliguda, Phulbani. 
Meanwhile, attendance in the educational institutions including schools and colleges has considerably gone down in the last couple of days due to the cold wave situation. Similarly, many of the government offices also remain deserted in the early hours as a good number of staff preferring to reach offices close to mid-day.  The farmers expressed concern that the cold wave situation may harm agriculture produces.  “If the situation persists, we fear that the Rabi crops will be adversely affected,” said Mr Sudarsan Kanhar, a farmer leader. 
Meanwhile, the cold wave has had its positive  too with the district witnessing higher tourist inflow, Daringbadi in particular. At least 60 forest tourists as well as a number of domestic ones are now in different parts of Kandhamal.