Foggy start to New Year, 9 flights from Chandigarh  cancelled
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Foggy start to New Year, 9 flights from Chandigarh cancelled

Visibility below 50m: All cancelled flights on Chandigarh-New Delhi route; 22 trains, 9 flights delayed too.

punjab Updated: Jan 02, 2018 13:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Foggy start,New Year,flights from Chandigarh cancelled
Dense fog made commuting in the city a nightmare too. A view of the Sector 10/16 road in Chandigarh around 7pm on Monday.(Karun Sharma/HT)

Contrary to the weather department’s prediction of a sunny New Year, city residents woke up to a foggy day with temperature as low as 8°C on Monday morning. Low visibility due to dense fog — worst in the season so far — led to cancellation of nine flights while delaying nine others, including two international flights at the Chandigarh airport.

Be careful while driving
  • Be ‘Mr Late’ than ‘Late Mr’: Drive slow when there is fog. Keep the speed less than normal.
  • Maintain distance: Keep a decent amount of distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. This will more likely save you from pile-ups as you will have enough time to react.
  • Use low beam: It’s not advisable to use high-beam headlights as it can worsen visibility by reflecting off the fog.
  • Use roadside reflectors: Use the white line painted on the right side of the road as a guide. Avoid following the centre pavement markings, because these will guide you to move closer to the oncoming vehicles.
  • Pull away: If the fog is too thick and you can’t see, never ever stop on the road. It’s better to find a safe place to pull over.

The Chandigarh-Delhi route was the worst-affected, with all nine flights called off. Of these, four were of Jet Airways, three of Spicejet and one each of Indigo and Air Vistara.

“Bad weather at the Delhi airport also added to the trouble,” said an airport official. Passengers had to hire taxis and use other modes of transport to reach Delhi. Visibility dropped below 50 metre as the day began, which only improved, moving beyond the permissible limit after 12.15pm. Visibility should be at least 1,000 metre for operations at the city airport.

Air India had to divert its 9.30am flight from Bangkok to Jaipur, which landed here three hours late at 12.30 pm. Indigo’s Dubai flight that was scheduled to land at 10:35am was also diverted to Delhi. Other flights that got late to take off were Indigo’s and Jet Airway’s Mumbai flights. Air India’s Bangkok flight left after a delay of two hours while its Sharjah flight was behind schedule by half an hour.

In all, 25 flights were scheduled to operate throughout the day till 4 pm, the airport’s closure time.

Morning Shatabdi delayed by 5 hours

Fog also hit rail operations, with 22 trains arriving late at the Chandigarh station on the first day of the year. The morning Shatabdi was in fact delayed by five hours. It was scheduled to arrive here from Delhi at 11.05am.

The evening Shatabdi to New Delhi was also delayed by an hour while the one coming from Delhi was late by an hour and 18 minutes. Kalka Mail was late by four hours, Ajmer-Chandigarh train by three hours, Una-New Delhi Janshatabdi by 55 minutes, Saharsa-Amritsar by five-and-a-half hours, Lucknow-Chandigarh by nearly five hours and Kerala Sampark Kranti by nearly six hours.

Important numbers if you are flying:
  • Air Asia: 8046662222
  • SpiceJet: 9871803333/9654003333
  • Indigo 9212783838/9910383838
  • Jet Airways 1800225522/8039243333
  • Air India 18001801407
  • Go Air 9223222111
  • Vistara 9958962222

Coldest Jan 1 in four years

Meanwhile, dense fog also engulfed other parts of the city, making commuting a nightmare in the morning and evening.

Weatherman said dense fog will continue to engulf the city for the next three to four days. Adding to the chill, cold wave conditions will also continue to prevail in the city.

On Monday, the day temperature dipped to 18.1°C, making it the coldest start to New Year in four years. The day temperature recorded on January 1, 2017, was 25.1°C and it was 23.4°C and 24.6°C on the same date in 2016 and 2015, respectively.It was in 2014 when the day temperature was 16.6°C.

At 18.1°C, the maximum temperature was also three notches below normal and what was recorded the previous day. However, there was no difference in the night temperature, which remained at 7.8°C.

“The day and night temperature will remain the same during the next three-four days. While the day temperature will hover around 18 degrees, the night temperature will be around 7,” said a meteorological department official.

The forecast given on the met website predicts partly cloudy sky on Tuesday and dense fog during morning and evening.

If you are flying

With weather hitting air operations, airlines have requested travellers to confirm their flight status before leaving for the airport. They should also update their contact number to get SMS alerts.

First Published: Jan 02, 2018 13:54 IST