Flights, trains to and from Delhi delayed by fog (Lead)

December 29th, 2008 - 2:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) While five flights were cancelled or diverted, over 34 including 10 international flights to and from Delhi were delayed for at least four hours as heavy fog enveloped the national capital Monday morning and lingered till noon. Train services were hit too, while motorists had a tough time.The runway visibility range (RVR) at the capital’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport dipped to less than 50 metres, below the required minimum of 100 metres for flight operations. The general visibility condition at the IGI airport also fell below 100 metres.

An airport official said at least 24 domestic flights and 10 international flights were delayed, while two domestic flights were cancelled and three diverted on account of the fog. Two domestic flights of Jet Airways and one of GoAir were cancelled.

Domestic flights were delayed by up to four hours, the official said. International flights including those from Kathmandu and Abu Dhabi were also delayed. A Jet Airways flight from Dubai and a Royal Jordanian Airlines flight from Amman were diverted to Mumbai.

Heavy fog rolled over the airport at around 4.00 a.m., and poor visibility forced airport authorities to initiate low visibility procedures (LVP) when the range dipped below 800 metres.

Meteorological officials said foggy conditions would continue for three to four days.

“The capital was covered by a thick fog early Monday. Visibility fell to just 50 metres at 7 a.m.,” an official at the Safdarjung meteorological office said.

However, the thick fog coupled with high humidity increased the minimum temperature to 8.4 degree Celsius and maximum to 25.5 degree Celsius.

Train services, too, were hit, with several trains from the northeast, Punjab and Jammu running several hours behind schedule.

“I have to board the Golden Temple Mail (which comes from Amritsar) for Mumbai. I have been waiting for the last two hours at the railway station as the train is delayed,” Neeti Sethia, a passenger at Nizamuddin railway station, said Monday morning.

Amritsar in Punjab was the coldest city in the north Indian plains with a minimum temperature of 1.6 degrees Celsius, the meteorological official said.

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