Fog plays havoc with air and rail traffic

A day after Delhi recorded its coldest day of the season, fog over the city threw air and railway traffic out of gear with over 200 flights and 40 trains delayed.

Visibility was down to 50 metres at 1.30 am, a busy time at the international airport, leading to the cancellation of 17 flights. According to reports, low-visibility procedures initiated between 1.30 am (Wednesday) and 11.20 am, allowed the operation of 172 flights during that time.

There was just no escaping long waiting hours, with passengers of 200 flights - domestic and international - stranded for at least two hours after low visibility on the runway persisted for over six hours on Wednesday morning.

 Fog plays havoc with air and rail traffic

A passenger plane prepares to land as fog begins to clear at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

The Indian Express reported the Director-in-charge of the IGI (Indira Gandhi International airport) Met Department as saying “The conditions are conducive to formation of dense fog. Humidity is close to 93 percent and there is no wind. So dense fog conditions are likely to stay on Thursday, with a slight reduction expected around Friday.”

The condition at the railway stations was no different with nearly 15 trains cancelled partially on certain routes and 13 trains delayed by more than five hours, according to reports. The Rajdhani Express trains from Patna, Mumbai, Howrah and Bhubaneshwar were held up in Uttar Pradesh for a few hours.

Times of India quoted a Northern Railway official saying that they were constantly updating their website and strengthening their inquiry system to inform passengers about the status.

Delhiites can expect no respite from cold and foggy days as the Met department has warned that the spell is likely to continue till the end of the month. A new wave of western disturbance is expected to hit Delhi on 23 January , bringing in a fresh spell of cold wind and rainfall till 25 January.

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Updated Date: Jan 19, 2012 10:37:24 IST