Dense fog disrupts air and rail traffic in Delhi

Dense fog and poor visibility in Delhi has disrupted several flight and train schedules.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Dense fog and poor visibility disrupted several flight and train schedules for the second consecutive day on Monday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded in extreme cold at the IGI Airport and various railway stations in Delhi.

As per reports, dense fog enveloped the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport early morning, leading to delay and diversion of over 70 flights.

Fog started to descend on the airport around 8 PM last night and gradually became dense, forcing airport authorities to implement low visibility procedure (LVP).

Around 23 flights coming to the national capital had to be diverted to nearby airports due to the foggy conditions, an airport official said.

The runway visibility hovered between 50 to 175 metres through the night, resulting in disruptions in flight operations.

The nightmare for air travellers and train passengers in the national capital has been continuing since Saturday when a thick blanket of fog enveloped the city bringing down the temperature and reducing general visibility to less than 50 metres.

According to the Met department, fog conditions are likely to continue in the coming days affecting flight and vehicular movement in northern region of the country. However, the fog is likely to clear up later in the day.

Dense fog had on Sunday morning also disrupted several flight and train schedules affecting thousands of passengers. While services resumed hours later, commuters had to bear the brunt of the huge backlog.

According to airport officials, 38 flights were cancelled yesterday, out of which seven were domestic flights. As many as 42 flights were diverted of which 28 were domestic and 14 international.

Passengers at the IGI Airport complained about mismanagement and lack of information. Many passengers were kept waiting at the airport for hours without any information about their flights.

The general visibility on Saturday night had dropped below the required level of 50 metres, forcing airport authorities to implement the Low Visibility Procedures (LVP).

Officials of the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) said that the technologically superior CAT (category) IIIB ILS, which allows compliant aircraft and trained pilots to land even when the runway visibility is at 50 metres, could not cope with the conditions below that level and therefore certain flights were disrupted.

As far as train services were concerned, 51 trains were delayed by anywhere between one to 27 hours because of the fog, an official statement said.

Among the trains that got delayed were the Jansadharan Express, the Katihar Express, the Purshottam Express, the Brahmaputra Mail and the AP Express. The Gujarat Sampark Kranti was delayed by 27 hours.

One train was rescheduled while two were cancelled.
Northern Railway announced its helpline numbers which people could call to find out train information. For trains from New Delhi Railway Station, the number is 011-237440452, for Old Delhi it is 011-23967322, and for Nizamuddin Railway Station it is 011-24355964.

The minimum temperature recorded yesterday was 7 degrees Celsius, a notch below the average for this time of the season. The maximum today is expected to hover around 20 degrees Celsius, according to the IMD., which has predicted further decline in temperatures due to snowfall in the Himalayas.

The coldest day of the season so far was December 22 with a minimum temperature of 5.2 degrees Celsius.