Fog delays flights, trains in Delhi; 4 killed in Rajasthan accident
Cold wave conditions continued to sweep across northern India on Tuesday. Several flights and trains were cancelled in Delhi, while dense fog continued to shroud many places in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.india Updated: Jan 02, 2018 19:57 IST
At least four people were killed and four injured after their car fell into a pond due to low visibility in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district, a report said on Tuesday, as a cold wave continued to intensify in northern India and a blanket of fog engulfed the entire region.
Visibility was reduced across Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, throwing normal life out of gear and causing widespread travel disruption.
Cold wave conditions continued in Jammu and Kashmir and people lit fires to battle the weather conditions in Pahalgam, which has been hit by snow for the past couple of days. The temperature in Pahalgam was minus 6.6 degrees Celsius on Monday night.
In Punjab, dense fog shrouded Ludhiana and other places, most of which are also reeling under a cold wave.
Extreme cold weather conditions also continued to prevail in Uttarakhand as the mercury dropped in most hilly areas of the state. Director of the Regional Met Office Vikram Singh said the mercury would fall in most parts of the hill state in the next few days and the winter chill would be at its peak.
The regional met office also predicted that the cold conditions would intensify on Wednesday and said that the hills of Pithoragarh and Chamoli will see snowfall in the next few days.
Heavy fog and poor visibility slowed down traffic and disrupted normal life in Udhamsingh Nagar, Haldwani, Haridwar and Roorkee.
Several flights and trains were cancelled or delayed in Delhi on Tuesday due to low visibility after a thick fog enveloped the national capital for the second day of the New Year.
According to the Indira Gandhi International Airport’s app showing live updates of flights, at least 30 domestic and 20 international flights, which were supposed to land in Delhi by noon or earlier, were delayed. Around 10 flights coming to Delhi were either cancelled or not operating on Tuesday.
Equipment at Delhi airport allows flights to land if runway visibility is above 75 metres, while at least 125 metres of visibility is needed for take-offs.
Met officials at the airport said as the runway visibility ranged between 600 metres and 1000 metres on Tuesday morning, the delays are consequential of the lag from the last two days.
A Northern Railways spokesperson said that at least 69 inbound trains were delayed by up to 29 hours, while 24 trains were rescheduled and 25 trains cancelled due to the fog on Tuesday.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the visibility dropped to 400 metres in the city.
The morning temperature rose to 8.4 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average, on Tuesday from Monday’s 5.7 degrees Celsius. The humidity was recorded at 97% at 8.30am.
“As the maximum temperature had only risen to 20.1 degrees Celsius on Monday, the earth had not been warmed up and one could feel the cold more acutely on Tuesday,” an official said.
The maximum temperature in Delhi is likely to hover around 21 degrees Celsius.
Monday’s maximum temperature settled at 20.1 degrees Celsius, one notch above the season’s average while the minimum was recorded at 5.7 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season’s average.
The IMD has predicted “dense fog at many places with very dense at isolated places very likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, West Uttar Pradesh, north-west and East Madhya Pradesh from midnight to forenoon.”