IMPHAL, Jan 5 � A cold wave gripping Manipur for the last few days has forced the charcoal prices high in the Imphal market. However, there is no report of any death due to the cold wave.
According to reports from Meteorological Office, with a minimum temperature of 2.3 degree Celsius, January 13 was the coldest day in 2010. The maximum temperature was 24.6 degree Celsius.
December 26 last year with a minimum temperature of 2.7 degree Celsius was the coldest day in the month. �Even though coldest day of the year 2010 was in January, people feel colder this fortnight because fog has remained for longer period�, MET office sources said.
The cold wave has forced households in Manipur to burn a huge amount of charcoal to burn their �meiphu� (local heater).
Earlier, households used to have a fireplace called Phung-ga to keep the house warm. But such fireplaces have nowadays given way to electrical appliances. Interestingly, the irregular power supply has forced many people to go back to charcoal to keep themselves warm despite its soaring prices.
One bag of charcoal weighing 50 kg costs between Rs 380 to 400 today. Last season the price was around Rs 270 to Rs 280. With cold wave gripping the State over the last few days, the demand for charcoal has suddenly increased.