08/12/2016 8:46 AM IST | Updated 08/12/2016 8:56 AM IST

Dense Fog In North India Disrupts Flights, Trains

Winter is here.

An Indian soldier rides a bicycle as past the India Gate monument on a fog enveloped morning in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. A thick blanket of fog engulfed Delhi, the national capital region and much of northern India, disrupting road, rail and air traffic. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Train and flight networks were disrupted on Thursday after dense fog enveloped parts of north India. At least 94 trains were reported to be running late, while 15 others were rescheduled and one cancelled. Meanwhile six international and seven domestic flights were delayed, and one domestic flight operating out of Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport cancelled early Thursday morning.

Yesterday, too, fog had paralysed the train and flight network in northern India, where almost zero visibility levels were reported.

Meanwhile advisories suggesting people to avoid outdoors are in place yet again with the air quality in the national capital turning 'severe' under the collective impact of dense fog and reduced wind speed, a condition that is likely to persist over the next few days.

Visibility will drop across the city over the next few days due to dense fog formation, which shoots up the level of pollutants as moisture traps it, an IMD official said.

Levels of PM 10, in real-time, at Delhi Pollution Control Committee's (DPCC) Anand Vihar and R K Puram stations violated the prescribed standards (24-hour ambient) by over 10 and seven times respectively around 7 PM.

The Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) air quality index (24-hour average) was in the 'severe' category with a reading of 407, which may affect healthy people and seriously impact those with respiratory ailments.

CPCB's Siri Fort (south Delhi) monitoring station, opened recently, had an AQI (air quality index) of 447. The maximum limit is 500.

The 24-hour-average (rolling) of PM 2.5 and PM 10, ultra-fine particulates, were 209 and 401 micrograms per cubic metre respectively, violating the prescribed standards of 60 and 100 respectively by multiple times.

Early in November, the city had experienced the worst spell of smog (smoke and fog) in 17 years when the pollutants had managed to permeate the indoors as well.

As per the graded action plan submitted by the Centre to the Supreme Court, which has been accepted, measures such as odd-even scheme and ban on construction can be automatically enforced if 'severe' conditions persist for 48 hours at a stretch.

(with agency inputs)

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