It was a cold and foggy start to Friday morning — perfect for staying in the bed till late hours. With visibility reduced to less than 350 metres and the mercury hovering around the 10° C mark, normal life was thrown out of gear in the city.
The effect: Till 8.27am, no flight was allowed to take-off or land in Kolkata airport because of poor visibility. Visibility at the airport area was around 300 metres.
Delays were not confined to flights only. Even trains and buses were adversely affected.
“We could allow take offs and landings only after 8.27 am because of low visibility. Low Visibility Procedure was, however, on till 11.35 am when the runway became normal,” said an airport official.
Meteorological department officials in Kolkata said moisture on Thursday night had led to dense fog on Friday.
“The reason for the sudden dense fog was the mist and moisture in the air. Since the temperature was low, moisture was generated reducing visibility to less than 350 metres,” an official from the airport meteorological department said.
The maximum and minimum temperature on Saturday was 19.1°C and 10.4°C, respectively. Met department has predicted that temperature would be around 19°C and 11°C on Sunday.
Several trains, including the Howrah and Sealdah Rajdhani Express, New Delhi Duranto Express, Kalka Mail, Mumbai Mail, Kamrup Express got delayed between 2 and 12 hours.
“Considering the safety of passengers, we instructed loco pilots to run trains below normal speed,” a railway spokesperson said.
State transport corporations said although buses plied on different routes, those scheduled on early morning ran behind by 2-3 hours.
While it was foggy in the state capital, districts were reeling under severe cold conditions with Purulia recording the lowest temperature of 5.2°C on Friday.
Bankura district followed with 7.6°C, around 8°C below normal. Sriniketan in Birbhum district registered 8°C and Burdwan 8.5°C, Met officials said.