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Delhi grapples with dense fog, flights and railway services disrupted

The IMD reported low visibility at airports, causing delays and cancellations. Passengers faced challenges with extended delays and cancellations, while train services were also impacted. The adverse weather conditions are expected to persist, with an orange alert issued by the IMD

Delhi grapples with dense fog, flights and railway services disrupted
First Published Jan 16, 2024, 9:30 AM IST

Delhi residents faced another bout of challenging weather on Tuesday as dense fog and bone-chilling cold enveloped the city, causing disruptions in flight and rail operations. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported visibility within 500 meters at Palam and Safdarjung Airports in the morning, leading to delays and cancellations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).

A total of 30 flights departing from IGIA experienced delays, with 17 flights cancelled due to adverse weather conditions and low visibility caused by dense fog. The IMD noted fog patches over northern and northeastern states, impacting airports in these regions. In a statement on X, the IMD provided insights into the widespread fog, stating, "Layer of fog is seen from Punjab to northeast India across Haryana, North MP, UP, Bihar, and West Bengal at 0530 hrs IST. The patches of fog are also seen along the east coast of India as shown in the attached Satellite Imagery."

The visibility data from various airports illustrated the severity of the fog, with some areas experiencing zero visibility, including Varanasi, Agra, Gwalior, Jammu, Pathankot, Chandigarh, and others.

Passengers at the airports expressed frustration over extended delays and flight cancellations. One passenger shared, "My flight was about to depart at 8:40 am but it is now scheduled to depart at 10:30 am...The reason they have given is mainly due to weather & fog."

The adverse weather conditions also affected train services, with around 30 trains, including the Rani Kamalapati-Hazrat Nizamuddin Vande Bharat and Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani Express, running behind schedule due to dense fog and coldwave conditions.

On Monday, five flights were diverted, and over 100 flights faced delays at the Delhi airport due to the challenging weather. The minimum temperature recorded on Tuesday was 5 degrees Celsius, dipping to a season low of 3.3°C on Monday. Cold waves and fog are expected to persist in the coming days, with the IMD issuing an orange alert for Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Despite the weather woes, the air quality in the national capital reached "severe" levels on Tuesday, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) hitting 401 in the Anand Vihar area, as reported by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The Commission for Air Quality Management invoked Stage 3 measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on Sunday to address pollution levels.

Visibility remained a significant concern on Monday, recording 'zero' for the first time this winter season in various locations, including Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan, Patiala, Ambala, Chandigarh, Palam, Safdarjung (New Delhi), Bareilly, Lucknow, Bahraich, Varanasi, Prayagraj, and Tezpur, according to the weather department.

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