Fog blinds Delhi, stifles traffic on New Year

January 1st, 2009 - 12:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) Confounding the predictions of the weatherman, a thick fog enveloped the capital Thursday morning. While a large number of flights and trains were delayed or cancelled, road traffic moved at snail’s pace as visibility dropped to 50 metres.“The general visibility was 50 metres. Thankfully, however, runway visibility hovered between 150 and 250 metres. Some flights have taken off as scheduled, but most have been delayed or cancelled,” an official at the capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport told IANS.

At least nine domestic flights were cancelled and eight were delayed. Four international flights were also delayed.

Vehicular traffic also moved at a sluggish pace due to the thick fog. However, no road accidents attributed to the fog were reported Thursday morning.

Joint Commissioner (Traffic) S.M. Srivastava told IANS that the full force was working to ease the traffic situation.

“Our force is limited but has been working around the clock since yesterday. A majority of the personnel worked till 2 a.m. and people were deployed to tackle the morning fog. Those who had worked late will return to work by noon,” he said.

“Since a majority of people were awake through the night, the traffic is thinner this morning. But yes, the little traffic is moving slow,” Srivastava added.

Many trains to and from the capital were also running late as much of northern India was covered by fog.

While the minimum temperature Thursday morning was recorded at 8.5 degrees, the next few days are likely to see a dip in the minimum temperatures by three degrees, an official from the Safdarjung meteorological office said.

“The maximum daytime temperatures have already dropped to 16 degrees Celsius from 20.8 degree Celsius in just two days, the chill is still setting in,” the met official added.

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