Dense fog causes travel chaos in New Delhi and northern India


NEW DELHI — A dense morning fog on Tuesday delayed flights in and out of New Delhi’s airport and disrupted road and train travel in northern India for a third straight day.

More than 60 flights were affected at Indira Gandhi International Airport, the Press Trust of India news agency said. A backlog of flights caused delays even after the fog had lifted.

Visibility was somewhat better than the previous two days, when hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled.

The thick fog made for hazardous road conditions, and forced the cancellation or late departure of many long-distance trains. Indian media reported at least five fatalities in fog-related road accidents.

At least four people were killed and four injured after their car fell into a pond due to low visibility in Bharatpur in northern state of Rajasthan, a Hindustan Times report said on Tuesday, as a cold wave continued to intensify in northern India and a blanket of fog engulfed the entire region.

Visibility was reduced across Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, throwing normal life out of gear and causing widespread travel disruption.

Cold wave conditions continued in Jammu and Kashmir and people lit fires to battle the weather conditions in Pahalgam, which has been hit by snow for the past couple of days. The temperature in Pahalgam was minus 6.6 degrees Celsius on Monday night.

In Punjab, dense fog shrouded Ludhiana and other places, most of which are also reeling under a cold wave.

Extreme cold weather conditions also continued to prevail in Uttarakhand as the mercury dropped in most hilly areas of the state. Director of the Regional Met Office Vikram Singh said the mercury would fall in most parts of the hill state in the next few days and the winter chill would be at its peak.

The regional met office also predicted that the cold conditions would intensify on Wednesday and said that the hills of Pithoragarh and Chamoli will see snowfall in the next few days.

Heavy fog and poor visibility slowed down traffic and disrupted normal life in Udhamsingh Nagar, Haldwani, Haridwar and Roorkee.

A Northern Railways spokesperson said that at least 69 inbound trains were delayed by up to 29 hours, while 24 trains were rescheduled and 25 trains cancelled due to the fog on Tuesday. — Agencies