Sat, 02 Jan 2010 08:44:29 GMT

Delhi: Several flights delayed due to dense fog

New Delhi: Flight operations at the IGI airport here came to a standstill this morning due to dense fog and fault in instrument landing system, which led to diversion of several flights to other cities.

New Delhi: Hundreds of air and rail passengers were stranded in the bitterly cold national capital Saturday as dense fog led to numerous flight cancellations and train delays.

A fault in the instrument landing system at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport and "tripping" of the northern grid owing to heavy fog further added to the woes of people.

The visibility dropped to zero metres in the city early Saturday and continued to remain below 50 metres at 10 a.m.

Over three dozen domestic flights and a dozen international flights were delayed for hours and many were cancelled. The runway visibility at the IGI airport was below 125 metres, as opposed to the minimum 150 metres required for a flight to take off.

"All flight operations to and from Delhi have been affected due to dense fog and the snag in the Runway Visual Range (RVR) instrument located on the main runway. Many international and domestic flights coming to Delhi have been diverted," said an airport official.

The CAT III B instrument landing system that provides visibility data to Air Traffic Control (ATC) could not be used due to fault in the RVR instrument, the official said.

The national capital Saturday recorded a minimum of 8.4 degrees Celsius, a notch above the normal for this time of the season.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast dense fog and clouds in Delhi Sunday with a minimum temperature hovering around 9 degrees Celsius.

The situation was no better at the city's railway stations, where passengers and their relatives had to wait for hours as over 50 incoming trains to Delhi were delayed by more than five hours.

"My mother was coming by the Vaishali Express. The train was scheduled to come at 8 a.m. but has been delayed by eight hours," said an upset Ajit Singh.

Some passengers also complained of inadequate information from the railway officials.

"I called up the railway enquiry before coming to the station and they did not tell me that my train has been delayed by six hours. I have no option but to wait on the platform in this chilly weather with my two small children," said Reena Singh, who was headed to Allahabad.

Motorists also had a tough time negotiating the roads in the capital in the dense fog early morning.

"It was so difficult to drive in the morning as I was not able to see anything a few metres away. I started early from my home in Dwarka but it took me an extra hour to reach my south Delhi office," said Rajat Arora, a marketing professional.

Source: IANS

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