New Delhi: With an aim to minimise the hazardous impact of fog on human health and rail and air traffic in northern India during winter, the Ministry of Earth Sciences has set up an expert panel to study the phenomenon.
"Widespread and thick fog in winter affects the economy at large. It disrupts transportation facilities and increases health hazards. An expert committee has been set up to study the different aspects of fog -- its influence on health and transportation and how these problems can be tackled," Dr Shailesh Nayak, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, said.
Scientists and doctors from various organizations including India Meteorological Department, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Department of Mechanical Engineering IIT Kanpur have been roped in to conduct the study.
Nayak was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the `International Conference on Opportunistic Pathogens` being held at AIIMS on Tuesday. Dr Sarman Singh, Head of the Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, AIIMS said,
"How much effect does fog have on human health, why does it block vision, does fog help in dissemination of virus that cause diseases like TB, H1N1, influenza, the components of fog and its effect on human health and how these hazards can be
minimised is the aim of the study of the expert committee."
The winter fog over northern India often causes zero visibility conditions, leading to transportation delays and many accidents too. Respiratory problems among people have
been reported more during foggy days. Dr V S Rao Chintala, a scientist with the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "We will investigate all aspects of fog. It will include the study of the component of fog including what causes fog, how it can be controlled, which areas
experience heavy fog and what material can be developed to disperse fog and ensure smooth flow of traffic."