At least 19 trains had to be rescheduled and 25 flights were delayed as heavy fog engulfed the city on Sunday. Another 22 trains were reported running late. Officials said flights were affected mainly due to fog at the port of origin like Lucknow, Agra, Varanasi, Amritsar and Kathmandu.
Met officials called the dip in visibility a larger phenomenon, which has not been experienced in the month of November earlier. It affected the entire Northwest Indian plains.
“In Delhi, the Safdarjung Airport recorded very dense CAT-III fog from 7 am to 9 am, when visibility dropped to below 50 metres. At IGI Airport, there was CAT-II fog during this period,” said R K Jenamani, director in charge of IGI Met department.
Jenamani said the Met department is reviewing the conditions. November usually witnesses localised fog, followed by rainfall. “It would be a matter of concern if the fog conditions stay for next two days,” he said.
The IGI Airport could expect CAT-III fog on Monday between 7 am and 9 am, he said.
Meanwhile, East-bound Rajdhani trains — headed towards Patna, Sealdah and Bhubaneswar — which are scheduled to depart early evening had to be rescheduled to late night on Sunday.
Several Delhi-bound trains — Lal Quila Express, Puroshottam Express, Magadh Express, Garib Rath from Bhagalpur — ran over 10 hours behind schedule.
Officials said the division is preparing for the peak fog season, expected to set in by the end of December.
Northern Railway spokesperson S K Sharma told Newsline, “The peak fog season is usually from December 20 to January 31. The schedule for this season has already been issued. Trains running in divisions under Northern Railway will get fog safety devices in as many as 600 trains this year.”
Sharma said with the fog safe devices, loco pilots (train drivers) will be able to gauge the distance of an arriving signal, and will not have to manually look for them. This will help in running the trains at a reasonable speed.