January is witnessing the worst disruptions of air and rail traffic due to fog in the last 12 years. Nor is it likely to change in coming days.
“We’ve not had it so bad since 1998,” said Anant Swaroop, Northern Railway spokesman. “The fog in 2003 was very bad, but it used to occasionally lift as well. We did not see such a prolonged spell of fog.”
On Friday, nearly 160 trains were delayed or cancelled due to fog. The delays were up to 27 hours.
More than 100 flights were delayed by one to four hours.
And all this comes on the heels of Thursday when
125 trains and over 250 flights were hit.
Dense fog has been setting in early in the evening and continuing till 11 am the next morning.
“The airport has already recorded 130 hours of dense fog this month. There’s still a week to go. January 2003 saw 168 hours of fog, but with still a week to go, this January may surpass it. This could become the worst hit winter ever,” said R.K. Jenamani, Director-in-charge of the airport meteorological unit.
Flight disruptions are already worse than they have ever been before. But then there are many more flights than before as well. “The flight movements (landings and take offs) per day in 2003 was between 250 and 300. We are handling 720 flight movements at present,” said a senior air traffic controller who didn’t wish to be named.
“With fewer flights, it was easier to reschedule,” he added. “There will be dense fog on Saturday morning. Fog conditions will continue for the next five-six days,” said a met department official. Cold conditions and fog are affecting the area between north Pakistan and Bangladesh.