Fog again hits flights, trains in Delhi (Second Lead)

December 27th, 2010 - 4:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) Several flights and trains were disrupted for the second consecutive day Monday as dense fog enveloped the national capital, leaving a large number of passengers stranded.The fog, which descended upon the Indira Gandhi International Airport Sunday evening, forced the authorities to enforce the Low Visibility Procedures (LVP), due to which 16 domestic and seven international flights were diverted, while 26 flights were canceled.

“IGI flight operations have been affected by heavy fog. LVP were enforced from 2036 hours yesterday, and terminated at 1036 hours today,” a Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) official said Monday.

According to the officical, despite heavy fog cover, 257 flights operated under various instrument landing systems that assist in flight operations during poor visibility.

Delhi saw the first heavy fog of this season Saturday, resulting in a massive disruption of flight services. On Sunday too the condition remained the same, with as many as 38 flights being cancelled and 42 diverted. These included both domestic and international flights.

The services resumed by afternoon, while the stranded passengers were exasperated and agitated by the lack of information and cooperation from the authorities.

“I tried calling the airport helpline number and even checked their website but there was no information on any flight being cancelled or delayed,” said a livid Sunil Kakkar, who was travelling to Jaipur.

“My flight was scheduled at 10 a.m. but when I reached here I was told that it was delayed by four hours but nobody informed me,” he added.

Many passengers kept waiting at the airport and railway stations for hours.

“I was supposed to travel to Ajmer by a morning train but due to the fog it got delayed. I have no other option but to wait at the platform,” said Ashok Mathur, who was stuck at the New Delhi Railway Station.

Railway officials said many trains to places like Mumbai, Ajmer, Kota along the western trunk line were affected, not only by the fog, but due to the agitation by the Gujjars for job quotas.

Weather officials, however, said the situation was much better as compared to Sunday when about 15 domestic flights from Delhi were cancelled and 12 international were rescheduled. Over two dozen trains were also affected.

The minimum temperature Monday was 6.1 degrees Celsius, a notch below the average for this time of the season and the maximum was expected to hover around 19 degrees Celsius, an official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The coldest day of the season in Delhi so far was Dec 22 with a minimum temperature of 5.2 degrees.

The capital saw its first foggy day of the season Saturday.

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