Noida witnessed season’s first dense fog this week as chilling winter knocks at the northern Indian plains. Intense cold wave ripped through the national capital and adjoining areas for the fourth consecutive day. Visibility reduced in Noida as dense layer of fog covered the city.
“Visibility is very poor and the reason for this is light winds. Also, the temperatures are dropping”: Mahesh Palawat, Vice President, Skymet, on dense fog in north India reported NDTV on Twitter
Weather Trivia : Shallow fog is when visibility drops below 1000-meter, moderate fog is when visibility remains between 200 and 500 meter and dense fog is when visibility drops below 200 meters.
School Timings Changed
Noida district inspector of schools (Dios) has issued orders to the school administrations in Noida to delay the opening time for schools due to foggy conditions. The schools will now open at 9 am till further orders. The new school timings will come into effect from December 22 onwards.
The order is applicable to both private and government schools upto class 12 including those affiliated to ICSE, CBSE and UP Boards. All the schools in the district (at least 1,900-2,000) must abide by the directions.
Night Bus Services Suspended in Noida
The authorities have also decided to suspend the reservation service for night bus journeys for the next month. There’s been an increase in number of accidents and vehicle pile up as dense fog reduced visibility markedly. Night bus services from the Noida depot is halted. The buses will not ply between 9pm to 7am.
Upper Speed Limit Reduced to 75 kmph
Noida-Greater Noida Expressway’s upper-speed limit reduced due to dense fog, poor visibility.
The Noida Traffic Police and Noida Authority’s Traffic Cell fixed the upper speed limit on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway at 75 km per hour from 100 km per hour. On other routes it has been capped at 65 km per hour for roads like MP1, MP2, MP 3, DSC, 75-metre wide. Violators will face legal action/challan.
Trains and Flights Delayed
The winter fog hit normal life in north India, including Delhi and the national capital region this whole week. The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said that due to bad weather in Chandigarh, Varanasi and Lucknow, flights have either been diverted, sent back or delayed.
Besides affecting air and road traffic the dense fog has has put in disarray train journeys as well. Some trains arriving in Delhi from Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Jammu, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have been running late by one to five hours due to fog and poor visibility.
Accidents and Pile ups
Gautam Buddh Nagar district has witnessed several accidents due to heavy fog and poor visibility. A news portal has aptly monikered it as North’s Freak Fog Smash up.
In two different incidents 2 people were killed in road accident triggered by fog in Greater Noida and on the Delhi-Agra route on Yamuna Expressway. Fog caused several vehicles to collide on Eastern Peripheral Expressway in Greater Noida. Several were reported injured.
Another accident was reported in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddha Nagar due to fog. One person was killed and at least 10 injured when their bus collided with a container vehicle in Dankaur area on Tuesday morning. Police said that the bus was carrying 60 passengers; injured have been taken to a hospital reported News18.
In another road crash on Monday, an empty school bus and a car met with an accident on the Bilaspur road in the Dankaur police station area. No one was injured in the crash, the police added. Parts of Gautam Buddh Nagar, including Noida and Greater Noida, witnessed dense fog Monday morning, leading to reduced visibility that resulted in slower movement of traffic on various road stretches in the district, according to an official.
Due to dense fog and low visibility, a Brezza car overturned in a drain on Tuesday morning in Greater Noida. The incident took place in Ecotech 1 police station area where a car went into a drain due to low visibility. Fortunately, no casualties were reported. The driver managed to jump out of the car before it completely fell into the drain.
Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala had a close shave. His convoy collided with the escort vehicle near Haryana’s Agroha, while travelling from Hisar to Sirsa, late on Monday. The car collided with the police vehicle moving in his convoy due to dense fog on the route. While the deputy CM escaped unharmed, a police officer was injured.
Air Quality in Noida continues to be in the ‘poor’ category with the AQI hovering at 280 today. The winters are the worst-hit season in terms of air pollution. The temperature will remain in 20 degrees to 8 degree celsius band in coming days per the Skymet website.