As many as 134 flights and 22 trains were delayed after a thick blanket of haze covered Delhi and much of north India as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted dense fog over Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab till December 31.
Flights, trains delayed
Passengers were seen queuing up at the gate of the Indira Gandhi International Airport amid intense fog. Approximately 134 flights, both arrivals and departures (domestic and international), were affected by the fog.
Thirty five 35 international flight departures and 28 international arrivals got delayed at the airport. well. On the other hand, 43 domestic departures and 28 domestic arrivals were late.
As many as 22 trains were delayed by several hours at the New Delhi Railway Station amid low visibility.
At 5.30 am, visibility at Delhi’s Safdarjung observatory dropped to 50 metres while Palam, near Delhi airport, reported a visibility of 25 metres. In Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and UP, the visibility ranged from 50 to 25 metres.
Although Delhi saw improved visibility in some areas this morning, foggy weather continues to prevail in the NCR region.
Schools in several UP cities have declared holidays as biting cold continues to prevail across North India. The Met has predicted “very dense fog” for late night and morning hours till New Year’s Eve in the northern states.
“Fog likely to become more dense and very likely to extend to more parts of Uttar Pradesh & north Rajasthan and some parts of extreme north Madhya Pradesh,” the IMD said in a post on X, advising travelers to be careful and use fog lights while driving.
Air quality “very poor”
As cold wave conditions continue, the minimum temperature in Delhi settled at 6 degrees Celsius while the maximum is expected to not go above 21 degrees Celsius.
With a dense haze hanging in the air, the air quality remained “very poor” for the second day in the city. The average AQI in Delhi reached 386 with Anand Vihar recording an AQI of 464 in the “severe” category . According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the pollution level will remain poor category for the next two days also.
On Wednesday, thick haze covered much of north India, delaying over 110 flights and 25 trains in and out of Delhi. As roads remained engulfed in fog, several collisions were reported across Uttar Pradesh. One person was killed and 12 others injured after multiple vehicles collided on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. In Bareilly, a speeding truck rammed into a house near the Bareilly-Sultanpur highway.
In another massive pileup, several people were injured and 12 vehicles crashed on a Yamuna Expressway stretch near Greater Noida. The pile-up took place at Jewar on the Noida-Agra route. Visuals from the site showed damaged vehicles, including trucks and cars, at the pile-up site.