Dense fog in capital cripples air, rail services


New Delhi : Blanketed in fog, a bleak Wednesday in the capital was a far cry from the pleasant days of spring that Basant Panchami heralds.

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The minimum temperature recorded Wednesday was 6.6 degrees Celsius, average for this time of the year. This was, however, almost two notches below Tuesday’s low of 8.4 degrees Celsius. The maximum was recorded at two degrees below the average at 18.6 degrees Celsius.

An icy wind, which blew through the capital throughout the day, added to the chill.

According to the Met officials, the cold has been brought to the capital by the north-westerly winds blowing from Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh across the northern plains.

Anita Das, a home maker, said: “Today is Basant Panchami, which symbolises the end of winters and beginning of spring. However, with the thick fog and bone chilling cold, it hardly feels like spring!”

According to a Met Department official, the fog persisted late into the day bringing down the visibility to less than 100 metres early in the day.

“The situation will be the same over the next two days,” an official of the India Meteorological Department told IANS.

Due to the poor visibility, 25 outgoing flights were delayed and two incoming flights were diverted.

“Twenty-five flights from Delhi have been delayed and two incoming flights were diverted due to the reduced visibility,” an airport official said.

According to a Northern Railways spokesperson, 45 trains were cancelled, 35 rescheduled and 24 delayed because of the weather conditions.

“Thirty-five trains, including the Northeast Express and the Purvi Express were rescheduled today because of the fog. In addition to that, 45 trains were cancelled and 24 are running late by more than five hours because of poor weather conditions,” a Northern Railways spokesperson told IANS.

Morning commuters had a tough time as fog brought the vehicular movement on the roads down to crawling speed.

“Riding a bike in such foggy conditions can be very tricky. Also, disrupted traffic signals added to our woes, increasing commuting time,” said Nishant Arora, a marketing executive.