Fog cover persists in Capital; 115 trains delayed, several cancelled
It was a chilly day in the national Capital on Friday as the minimum temperature plummeted to 7.7 degrees Celsius, even as dense fog severely hit railways, leading to the cancellation of 21 trains. The weathermen have predicted dense to very dense fog on Saturday morning with maximum and minimum temperature hovering around 27 and 9 degrees Celsius respectively.
As there seems to be no respite from fog in North India, Eastern Railways has cancelled three major trains connecting Kolkata with Delhi, Patna and Varanasi till mid of January.
A senior officer of Railways informed that as many as 115 trains were running late by several hours while 60 were rescheduled due to the fog. “Twenty one trains including Vikramshila Express, Poorva Express, Kanpur Shatabdi, Gomti Express and Patna Rajdhani were cancelled due to fog,” said the officer. The flight operations at the Delhi airport, however, remained normal as visibility was enough to operate the planes under Low Visibility Procedures (LVP). According to a MeT Department official at the airport, visibility was recorded at 600 metre at 5.30 am which dropped to 400 metre at 8.30 am. It was recorded at 800 metre at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm.
Due to low visibility caused by fog in Delhi several Delhi-bound trains from Kolkata were also cancelled. The Chief Spokesperson of Eastern Railways in Kolkata informed that Sealdah-Delhi -Sealdah Express will remain cancelled from December 18, 2016 to January 15, 2017. The sister train of this Express from Delhi has been cancelled from December 20 to January 17. Similarly, Howrah-Patna-Howrah Janshatabdi Express will remain cancelled on Thursdays both from Howrah and Patna from December 22 to January 12. The Sealdah-Varanasi-Sealdah Express has been cancelled on Tuesdays from Sealdah from December 20 to January 10 and on Fridays from December 23 to January 13.
The maximum temperature settled at 26.6 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal, while the minimum temperature was pegged at 7.7 degrees, a notch below the season’s average. The humidity oscillated between 97 and 51 per cent. “The skies will be mainly clear. Dense to very dense fog is likely to occur towards morning,” said the weathermen. On Thursday the maximum temperature settled at 23.9 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature was recorded at 8.7 degrees.
However, with a reading of 402, the National Air Quality Index of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) declared Delhi’s air as “severe”, a condition that affects healthy people and seriously impacts those suffering from diseases.
According to the Ministry of Earth Science’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), PM 10 and PM 2.5 average (rolling) were 194 and 342 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.