The first dense fog of the season in the early hours on Thursday disrupted flight operations at Delhi Airport besides delaying trains and slowing down road traffic in the Capital. According to reports, at around a dozen flights were diverted and 137 flights delayed due to weather conditions at Delhi airport and around 100 trains were running late or rescheduled.
“The Low Visibility Procedures (LVP) was implemented at the airport at around 3 pm when the visibility dipped to around 50 meters. These measures were in place till 11.15 am on Thursday,” said a senior officer at Delhi’s IGI Airport. “During the implementation of LVP, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) was clearing the arrival and departure of flights as per the fog condition at the airport after ensuring proper provisions were in place,” he added. The visibility at Palam weather office was recorded at zero meters at 8.30 am while at Safdarjung Observatory, the lowest visibility was at 150 meter.
According to the report of the airport, 49 departing flights and 88 arriving flights were delayed due to unfavourable weather conditions in addition to 94 departing flights which were also delayed due to other reasons. According to sources, around a dozen flights were diverted from Delhi to neighbouring airports due to the fog but in a press statement, the operator of the airport claimed that not even a single flight was diverted during LVP period. “Only six inbound flights to Delhi were diverted during LVP but due to other reasons,” claimed the statement. “A total of 16 flights were cancelled but due to other reasons. No flight was cancelled due to fog,” emphasised the statement.
The fog also derailed train operations causing delay of more than 15 afternoon and evening trains including four Rajdhani trains departing from Delhi. According to spokesperson of Northern Railway, a total of 60 trains, including Sealdah, Howrah, Jammu and Bhubaneswar Rajdhanis, are running behind schedule by about two to four hours due to fog, said a Northern Railway spokesperson.
“The minimum temperature was 11.9 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season’s average. The maximum will be around 26 degrees Celsius,” a Met official said.
Humidity was 98 per cent at 8.30 am. On Wednesday, 18 flights and 50 north-bound trains were delayed due to heavy fog.
Traffic was slow on the roads in the morning due to low visibility. “It took us more than an hour from Laxmi Nagar to Maharani Bagh as I was forced to slow the speed due to fog,” said Mukesh Saini, a trader in the area. Metro operations were also slow in the early morning hours but the spokesperson of the DMRC affirmed that the operations were normal. The weathermen have predicted foggy days till coming Tuesday with slight variations.