Dense fog engulfs Delhi-NCR, visibility zero

New Delhi Railway Station

Dozens of trains were also cancelled, with passengers left in the cold at New Delhi's railway station as temperatures dropped to 8 degrees Celsius.

As many as 20 flights got delayed while six were cancelled at the Indira Gandhi International airport in the national capital because of intense fog.

While the fog dissipated later and visibility improved, there were delays throughout the day because of cascading effect on flight operations. This happened due to a rapid build up of particulate matter owing to foggy conditions, even as Delhiites stepped out in large numbers to mark the first day of the New Year. Finally in flight after three hours. Flights were stopped from taking off between 11 p.m. and 12 visibility was nil.

Departures require a visibility of at least 125 metres, while planes can land in visibility below 50 metres if the pilots are trained in CAT IIIB technology for low-visibility landings that allows qualified aircraft to land in visibility of 25-50 metres.

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56 trains headed towards the capital are late and 20 have been rescheduled. Some 15 were cancelled.

The maximum temperature is likely to hover around 21 degrees Celsius.

Director of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) RK Janamani, for the Delhi region and the IGI airport, said that visibility was 50-75 meters at the runway at 5:30 in the morning. SAFAR, which has its own monitoring network, recorded "severe" levels of pollution.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) at Delhi's Shadipur was recorded at 332, and Siri Fort at 388 - both in the "hazardous" category.



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