Dense fog engulfs Delhi, hits flight, train schedules

December 29th, 2008 - 11:57 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) A thick blanket of fog engulfed the national capital and surrounding areas Monday, reducing visibility to below 50 metres and disrupting flight and train schedules. Commuters had a tough time driving to work. Meteorological officials said foggy conditions would continue for three to four days. “The capital was covered by a thick fog early Monday. Visibility fell to just 50 metres at 7 a.m. and is likely to remain below the required 1,500 metres till noon,” an official at the Safdarjung meteorological office said.

However, the thick fog coupled with high humidity increased the minimum temperature to 8.4 degree Celsius and maximum to 25.5 degree Celsius.

At least 10 international flights and 24 domestic flights were delayed while two domestic flights were cancelled owing to the fog cover, said an official at the capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

“Two domestic flights were cancelled and several were delayed as the visibility at airport around 8.30 a.m. was 100 metres, which is much below the minimum required 750 metres,” the official said.

Many inbound trains from the northeast, Punjab and Jammu have been running several hours behind schedule.

“I have to board the Golden Temple mail, which comes from Amritsar, for Mumbai. I have been waiting for the last two hours at the railway station as the train is delayed,” said Neeti Sethia, a passenger at Nizamuddin railway station.

Amritsar in Punjab was the coldest city in the north Indian plains with a minimum temperature of 1.6 degrees Celsius, the meteorological official said.

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