Heavy fog affects flights, train schedules in Delhi (Second Lead)

December 29th, 2008 - 10:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) Flight schedules went haywire with many cancelled or delayed after heavy fog enveloped the national capital Monday morning and lingered till late noon.Eight flights were diverted, 19 were cancelled while over 150 flights were delayed for more than six hours due to the heavy fog that reduced visibility at the airport, an official said late Monday evening.

Passengers had a tough time at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport as the fog created havoc in the flight timings. M. Venkatesh, a passenger, was to take a flight to Chennai at 1 p.m. It eventually took off at 6.30 p.m.

The runway visibility range (RVR) at the IGI Airport dipped to less than 50 metres, below the required minimum of 100 metres for flight operations. The general visibility condition at IGI airport also fell below 100 metres.

An airport official said at least 10 international flights were delayed. Two domestic flights of Jet Airways and one of GoAir were cancelled.

International flights delayed included those from Kathmandu and Abu Dhabi. A Jet Airways flight from Dubai and a Royal Jordanian Airlines flight from Amman were diverted to Mumbai.

Airport authorities had to initiate low visibility procedures (LVP) when the range dipped below 800 metres after heavy fog rolled over the airport at around 4.00 a.m.

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.

The thick fog coupled with high humidity increased the minimum temperature to 8.4 degrees Celsius and maximum to 25.5 degrees Celsius.

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

Neeti Sethia, a passenger at Nizamuddin railway station, was one of those whose train was delayed. “I had to board the Golden Temple Mail (which comes from Amritsar) for Mumbai. But it was delayed,” she said.

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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