The on-going cold spell has added to the miseries of the poor and disadvantaged people in the northern districts of Thakurgaon and Panchagarh.
The bone-chilling cold for the last 3-4 days coupled with drizzling yesterday disrupted normal life.
As people are forced to stay indoors, business and other activities are hampered while students' attendance in schools and colleges has become thin.
People of low income group, especially who earn on daily basis, are unable to manage work due to the bad weather.
The minimum temperature recorded in Thakurgaon was 8 degrees Celsius while it was 10 degrees in Panchagarh district yesterday, local Met office sources said.
The sun remained invisible during the last three to four days. Fog and drizzling amid sweeping cold winds from the western and northwestern directions have added to the sufferings of the common people.
Although different government and non-government organisations have started distribution of warm clothes, it was too inadequate for the poor in the two districts.
We have already distributed five thousand blankets among the distressed people in five upazilas in Thakurgaon district and wrote to the higher authorities for more 30 thousand blankets and other warm clothes for distribution among the cold-stricken poor people, said Thakurgaon DC Mukesh Chandra Biswas.
Agricultural activities are also being hampered as farmers cannot work in crop fields due to the chilling cold, said Khairul Alam, deputy director of Thakurgaon Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
On the other hand potato farmers are worried due to severe cold as it may cause fungal and pest attack on potato plants, DAE sources said, adding it is also harmful for seed beds of IRRI-Boro paddy.
Local DAE suggested the farmers to cover Boro seedbeds with polythene sheets till the sun reappears, put water in seedbeds and later use Sulphur fungicides like cumulous, mixture of urea and potash.
Meanwhile, increasing number of patients, especially children and elderly people, are crowding hospitals with cold-related diseases, said Dr. Afzal Hossain Tarafdar, civil surgeon of Thakurgaon said.