Heavy fog has caused major travel disruptions in Delhi and its neighboring areas today. Over 500 flights were delayed due to the adverse conditions.
All forms of travel impacted
The Hindustan Times reports that, along with these postponements, 21 flights were diverted from Indira Gandhi International Airport this morning. Additionally, it’s not just air travel that has been impacted as at least 30 trains were running late due to low visibility in the region.
Unfortunately, the weather conditions have also claimed lives. Six people died when their car slipped off the road into a canal in Greater Noida, which borders Delhi.
It is not only visual impairment that the weather is causing. According to Livemint, today is also one of the coldest days of the year in the capital of India. The combination of the conditions has caused chaos across the region.
Moreover, at the airport, flights are operating under CAT III B conditions. This means the runway visual range is between 50 meters and 175 meters. Along with the several delays, at least 40 flights have also been completely canceled.
According to the report, Vistara Airlines shared that it has to cancel its Delhi-Mumbai flight UK933 and its Mumbai-Delhi flight UK996 due to visibility issues.
IndiGo has also confirmed that its operations have been affected across the country.
“Owing to dense fog in north India our flights have been impacted across India. We will continue to review the situation and provide real-time updates on our social platforms,” a spokesperson for the airline said, as reported by Livemint.
A national issue
Despite fog seeming like a fairly natural occurrence, India often faces heightened bouts of visibility issues. This is often exemplified by the country’s unique air pollution problems.
A huge portion of the country has reduced access to electricity and natural gas. Therefore, many of those in rural areas turn to the burning of wood and biomass to cook and stay warm.
Subsequently, around 140 million people in the vicinity are breathing air that is 10 times or more over the World Health Organization’s safe limit for pollutants. This has forced a domino effect in the nation, with winds pushing the polluted air across cities and towns.
As much of the population tries to keep warm this winter by lighting more of the aforementioned fires, the fog could continue and return this season. Hopefully, we will see further initiatives by Indian authorities to try and cull the air pollution issues that adds to the fog within the country.
Have you been impacted by the fog across India today? Let us know your thoughts about the incidents in the comment section.