More than 300 flights and 250 trains were delayed on Monday as Delhi was enveloped in the season’s worst fog cover and the mercury plunged to 4.2 degree Celsius, the coldest December 22 in five years and the lowest this season.
Travellers faced nightmarish waits and the coming days won’t bring much relief with the MeT department predicting foggy days till December 29 accompanied by low minimum temperatures.
A view of India Gate during a cold and foggy Sunday in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
Airport officials said two runways were closed for four hours early morning as visibility dropped below 50 metres. “Flights were delayed between 15 minutes and two hours. Some passengers were stuck inside planes and even in the air,” said an airport official.
Those travelling by train faced a far more harrowing time as some commuters were left stranded on the platforms for more than eight hours. While trains such as the Shatabdi and Rajdhani were three hours late, express trains were running 12 to 15 hours late.
Minimum temperature dropped to 4.2 degrees C, four notches below normal, on Monday while the maximum was 15.8 degrees C, six notches below normal.
A school student waits during a cold and foggy Sunday morning in New Delhi. (Sushil Kumar/HT photo)