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Posted at: Jan 2, 2018, 2:39 AM; last updated: Jan 2, 2018, 2:39 AM (IST)

‘Worst fog of season’ blinds city, grounds 9 flights, delays 20 trains

Foggy weather disrupts air, train services

Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 1

Dense fog continued to play spoilsport on the New Year’s Day as nine flights were cancelled and another nine delayed at the Chandigarh international airport on Monday. 

Two Air India flights, including the international flight to Bangkok, were diverted to Jaipur. In the season’s worst fog so far, visibility went down to almost zero in the morning and only started improving in the afternoon with the first flight landing at 1.15 pm and the last flight departing at 4.50 pm. 

The airport was operational for only four hours. The passengers were hassled and took to social media to complain about flight disruptions.

Jeevan Jot Singh, a management trainee, said, “I was supposed to reach Bengaluru but now I am stuck here. There is no information regarding the flight status, whether it is cancelled or delayed.”

Flights from Delhi were diverted, delayed or grounded as services had to be temporarily suspended at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in Delhi and no flight took off from Delhi airport between 6 am and 10 pm due to poor visibility.

The cancelled flights at Chandigarh airport included four Jet Airways flights, three SpiceJet flights, one Vistara flight and one IndiGo flight. 

Of the nine flights delayed, two flights were delayed by more than three hours and another two by over two hours.

Fog remains an annual winter concern because the airport is not equipped with modern Instrument Landing System (ILS). 

With the current CAT-I (B) ILS, flights cannot land if the visibility drops below 1000 metres. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is upgrading the ILS to instal CAT-II whereby flights will be able to land even if visibility drops to 350 metres, but it will only be completed in the mid 2019. 

Over 20 trains arrive late

Chandigarh: As many as  20 trains arrived late at the railway station here today, courtesy fog.  Kalka Mail, which was to arrive at 3 am, reached the city at 9.04 pm at a delay of over 18 hours. 

Ajmer Chandigarh Garib Rath arrived late by over three hours. Similarly, Sahrasa-Amritsar was late by five hours and 35 minutes, Lucknow-Chandigarh Superfast reached late by four hours and 40 minutes and Himalayan Queen chugged in late by almost two hours.  According to railway officials, New Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi, which was to reach Chandigarh at 11.05 am, arrived five hours late at 4.05 pm. NewDelhi-Kalka Shatabdi which was to reach Chandigarh at 8:40 pm arrived at 11:35; delayed by two hours and 55 minutes late. 

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