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Fog hits air, train services in Delhi

Several flight and train schedules get disrupted for the third consecutive day as thick fog envelops the capital.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2007 20:28 IST

Several flight and train schedules were disrupted for the third consecutive day on Wednesday as thick fog enveloped the capital and the mercury dipped below normal.

"Flight schedules were disrupted since late Tuesday forcing airlines to cancel nine flights - one arrival and eight departures - till early this morning," said a spokesperson of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).

Passengers were stranded for hours at the airport owing to the rescheduling of flights. Seven international flights and 15 domestic flights were diverted to places like Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur and even Mumbai.

"Despite knowing the weather conditions for the last few weeks, authorities did not inform us in advance and for hours their Helpline numbers were not working," a passenger lamented.

Authorities, however, said the situation improved after 7.30 am. "The runway visibility was above 2,000 metres by 10 am. Flights are landing and taking off normally now," he said.

Officials in the Northern Railways also said that over 24 trains were running between 3-19 hours late.

"Over two dozen trains, mostly Delhi bound, were running late and four trains were cancelled," said a railway spokesperson.

The trains running behind schedule include Mahananda Express (19 hours), Sultanpur-Delhi Express (14 hours), Farakka Express (eight hours) and Jammu Taiwi Express (six hours).

Those cancelled are New Delhi-Amritsar intercity express, Jalandhar-New Delhi intercity, Srigangar-New Delhi intercity express and New Delhi Bhatinda intercity express.

The capital recorded a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius, one notch below normal. On Tuesday Delhi recorded a maximum of 14.6 degrees (7 degrees below normal) and a minimum of 8.6 degrees (2 degrees above normal).

"The temperature will dip further over the weekend but Delhi will mainly witness a clear sky till Friday morning," said SC Bhan, director of India Meteorological Department.