MAHOTTARI: Excessively cold weather in the past few days has affected daily life in several districts of the middle-east Tarai.. Dense fog has made the weather severely cold, with little to no sunshine in the area.

There is no sunshine in Mahottari since January 11 with thick fog occurring most of the time. Continuous cold wind and frost have exacerbated the cold weather, forcing the people to stay indoors.

"The vegetables in the fields have wilted away due to cold. The tomatoes are decaying in the plant itself. Beans, peas and legumes have also withered," said Mahendra Singh Kushwaha, a vegetable farmer at Pashupatinagar, Bardibas Municipality-9 in the district.

Like Kushwaha, many vegetable farmers in the area are worried about the vegetables getting spoiled.

The cold snap has not only affected the vegetable crops, it has also taken a toll on livestock, especially the milch cows and buffaloes. "Neither can we go out and collect green grass and fodder for the animals nor can we take them out for grazing," bemoaned Hiradevi Dahal, a farmer of Ramnagar, Bhangaha Municipality in the district.

She has seven buffaloes, a cow and calves to look after which she has not been able to collect grass and foliage for since the last one week.

Movement of people and other activities in the market has also drastically reduced with the dipping temperatures.

Meanwhile, the number of patients suffering from cold related ailments too have has also increased in several settlements. The count of people suffering from asthma, cough and arthritis has drastically gone up.

The older people, infants and new mothers are the hardest hit or are at risk from cold, said Dr Bidhan Chandra Jha, Medical Superintendent at Bardibas Hospital.

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