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Smog results in low visibility across Punjab, Haryana

Dr Raj Singh, head of department (HOD) of meteorological and agriculture department at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University (CCSHAU) said similar conditions will continue for few more days.

punjab Updated: Nov 07, 2017 11:08 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Smog,low visibility,Long-distance trains
A student waiting for his schoolbus amid dense smog in Rohtak on Tuesday. (Manoj Dhaka/HT)

Visibility took a hit with smog engulfing major parts of Punjab and Haryana on Tuesday. Across Punjab’s Doaba region and in Haryana’s Rohtak and Hisar, low visibility in the wee hours of Tuesday resulted in a harrowing time for both schoolchildren and commuters.

In Haryana, dense smog on National Highway-9 hit normal life. Long-distance trains from Bathinda to Delhi via Sirsa and Hisar are running late by one hour, while Haryana Roadways has cancelled many early morning long-route buses to avoid accidents.

Ramesh Kumar, a driver with Haryana Roadways on the Delhi-Sirsa route said, “It generally takes five hours to reach Sirsa from Delhi. But on Monday night, it took more than nine hours to reach the destination. Poor visibility began at Fatehabad and continued till the outskirts of Sirsa.”

Similar conditions to prevail

Dr Raj Singh, head of department (HOD) of meteorological and agriculture department at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University (CCSHAU) said similar conditions will continue for few more days.

“Sudden fall in temperature and increased moisture in the air creates low pressure and hence the smoke of stubble is not able to clear in time, resulting in dense smog in the outskirts.”

PAU assistant agro meteorologist KK Gill said the smog will continue for the next few days as there are no chances of rainfall. Gill said that the moisture in the atmosphere and the pollution due to stubble burning bas clubbed together to form smog.

School timings delayed in Fatehabad

Fatehabad DC Hardeep Singh ordered that in view of smog conditions, private schools in Fatehabad district will open one hour later than usual. Singh said all schools will now open at 9 am instead of 8 am and the order will remain effective for the next one week. The Fatehabad DC has also asked officials to keep a strict eye on stubble burning.

A Haryana roadways bus rammed with another parked vehicle near Kotli village of Sirsa district, injuring passengers and the driver.

According to the data compiled by the Haryana Space Application Centre (HARSAC), Hisar, more than 800 incidents of stubble burning have been reported from Fatehabad district only.

Jalandhar hit too

Four trains from Jalandhar were delayed due to fog on Tuesday morning. Smog-related accidents in the region have already began — three days ago 14 people were injured in Hoshiarpur after tempo traveller fell in the Kali Bein river after the driver was unable to see the road clearly.

Chandigarh-Delhi operations flight have been severely hit due to shutdown of one of the runways at the Delhi international airport for maintenance work. Out of 12 flights on this route, seven have been cancelled for three days, starting Tuesday. The normal operations will be restored on Friday.

Apart from this, no smog-related delays in the train and flight schedule has been reported from Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Commuters grapple with thick smog in Ludhiana on Tuesday morning. (Gurminder Singh/HT)

Amritsar grapples with poor visibility

Dense smog, which suddenly marked its presence on Monday evening in Amritsar, came as a shock for residents. Most residents were not prepared for the sudden dip in visibility. “My mother called me five times within 40 minutes. She kept insisting I leave work at the earliest fearing more smog late evening. I left my office early around 7:30 pm and couldn’t even see my car parked outside my office,” Amit Sharma, a resident of Amritsar’s Gopal Nagar said.

The morning smog on Tuesday deterred the morning walkers as they chose to remain inside. Ashok Kumar, a resident of Putlighar, said farmers should at least wake up now as burning stubble has led to smog that “can be disastrous”.

On Monday, three people died in road accidents in Ludhiana caused district due to low visibility. Flights from Sahnewal airport have also been disrupted since last Monday.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 10:45 IST