Flights, trains delayed in Delhi amid fog, air quality slips to very poor
The national capital region witnessed light rains on Sunday as the air quality remained in the ‘very poor’ category. The rainfall at 8.30am was recorded at 4.3 mm, while the humidity level was 100%.Updated: Jan 07, 2019, 12:21 IST
Dense fog affected all flights at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and at least 13 trains to the national capital were running late, officials said on Monday, as air quality was recorded at ‘very poor’ level in several areas.
While the general visibility at Palam dropped to zero during early morning resulting in a very dense fog, at Safdarjung, which is taken to be a representative of the city’ weather, the visibility was around 150m. It was dense fog.
Several airlines also reported delays in their flight schedules in Bengaluru and Bhopal. Jet Airways and Indigo issued travel advisories on Twitter as several of their flights were hit by bad weather condition.
“Due to adverse weather conditions (fog) at #Delhi, #Bengaluru and #Bhopal, some of our flights have been affected,” Jet Airways tweeted.
Delhi International Airport Limited later said that flight operations were disrupted from 9am to 10am on Runway 29 after visibility saw a sharp decline. However, flight departures continued from Runway 28. Operations have returned to normal with visibility improving, DIAL said.
Officials said 13 trains, including Kaifiyat Express, Poorva Express, Magadh Express, and Rewa-Anand Vihar Superfast Express, were rescheduled after getting delayed by at least two hours.
The Gaya Anand Vihar Garib Rath Express, Brahmaputra Mail Express, Swatantra Senani Superfast Express and Purushottam Express by three hours, five hours, three hours, four hours and four-and-a-half hours respectively owing to low visibility, they said.
“The rain that hit Delhi (on Sunday) has pushed up the moisture levels in the air. Other conditions such the temperature and wind speed were also ideal for fog formation,” said a senior India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.
The minimum temperature was recorded at 7.1 degrees, which was normal.
“While the approaching western disturbance and the cloudy sky has been gradually pushing up the minimum temperature, the maximum temperature has dropped over the past few days. On Sunday, it was around 19 degrees,” said the official.
Pollution levels have dipped further. The air quality index (AQI) which was hovering at 407 on Saturday in the severe zone dropped to 336 on Sunday. On Monday morning, it improved further and came down to 316 or very poor level.
Pollution forecasting agencies of the Union government have said air quality is likely to remain in the very poor zone over the next two to three days.
AQI at Mathura Road was docking at 340 in the morning, at Dhirpur it was 372 while in Pitampura area it dipped to ‘very poor’ category at 385. AQI near Pusa Road, Airport Terminal 3 and Chandni Chowk stood at 304, 319 and 307 respectively.
The AQI between the range of 51 to 100 is considered as satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 falls under the category of poor, 300-400 is considered as ‘very poor’ and range between 401-500 falls under the category as ‘hazardous’.
The weather department said that moderate fog is expected over the next two days at least.
(With inputs from ANI)