Cold wave grips North India; Delhi records worst fog in 4 yrs, air and rail traffic hit

FogWith dense fog enveloping the IGI Airport, the visibility dropped below the mandatory 50 metres. (PTI Photo)

As cold wave maintained its grip in the North India, Delhi experienced the worst fog in four years, with flight and trains operations coming to a standstill.

Intense cold wave continued unabated in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan with temperatures settling below normal in most parts of North India adversely affecting normal life.

With dense fog enveloping the IGI Airport, the visibility dropped below the mandatory 50 metres, disrupting flight operations and causing inconvenience to passengers.

Met officials said it may be the worst fog after January 2010, leading to delay and diversion of around 150 domestic and international flights today.

Between 8 PM last night and 8 AM this morning, around 150 flights, either arriving or departing from Delhi have been cancelled or diverted due to extremely poor visibility at the airport due to dense fog, airport officials said.

Around 51 domestic and international flights departing from here and 39 scheduled to arrive here, between 8 PM last night and 8 this morning, have been cancelled.

The fog was being expected to get lesser after 9.30 AM.

Fog started to descend at the airport on Sunday evening at around 6.30 PM and it became dense by 8 PM. The visibility dropped to less than 75 meters due to which flight operations were disrupted, airport sources said. The fog became more dense around 9.30 PM due to which the general visibility was almost nil while the runway visibility was below 50 meters, leading to suspension of flight operations.

Lounges at the airport were packed with passengers who complained that they were not given information about the flight status.

Long queues were seen at airline counters for collection of refunds for cancelled flights or to get a seat on any early flight.

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