New Year begins on foggy, chilly note; over 200 flights, nearly 100 trains affected


Agencies, New Delhi The New Year started on a chilly and foggy note in the national capital, with heavy fog affecting road, air and rail traffic, while the mercury dipped to 5.7 degrees Celsius.Dense fog in the national capital affected more than 200 flights, leading to delay in 56 trains, rescheduling of 20 and cancellation of 15 trains. Dense fog engulfed the Delhi airport in the morning hours, resulting in dropping of visibility below 50 m.As per information gathered from the Delhi Airport, more than 200 flights have been affected.Out of these, around 16 domestic and international flights were cancelled, while one Jet Airways flight had to be dropped. Meanwhile, the Indigo airlines said it had to cancel 60 flights across the country on Sunday, while 74 flights were cancelled by the airlines on Saturday.According to an airport official, from 0730 hrs to 1000 hrs, the arrival of flights was happening intermittently, while departures were on hold. Post 1000 hrs, both departures and arrivals had resumed, only one diversion was reported during this time and that too, due to technical problem in aircraft. All three runways were in active use after 1100 hrs, he said. The drop in visibility levels forced authorities at the IGI airport to put in place CAT III B procedures, which allows aircraft to land even under 50-metre visibility, an IGI official said.With the new system, the delays due to fog during winter have been brought down to a great extent, he added. The fog also affected road traffic in the capital, with heavy traffic jams witnessed in several areas.According to IMD, the minimum temperature in the city was registered at 5.7 degree Celsius, which was one degree below normal, while the maximum was recorded at 20.1 degrees, one degree above normal. The weatherman has forecast dense fog for Tuesday morning, with sky getting clearer during the day.The Met department has forecast the minimum temperature to remain around five degrees on Tuesday, while the maximum will settle around 20 degrees. The air quality was “very poor” on Monday, with an index value of 386 at 1300 hrs, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. PM2.5 and Ozone were the primary pollutants.Relative humidity at 0830 hrs was pegged at 100 per cent, an official of Met department said.