M A I N   N E W S

Fog hits traffic, 40 flights delayed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 24
Twenty flights had to be diverted to various destinations as thick blanket of fog and cold wave conditions gripped the capital today. Low visibility forced the airport authorities to divert the flights. Besides, rail and road traffic was also delayed due to fog.

A spokesperson for the Airport Authority of India said poor visibility since midnight led to diversion of 13 domestic and seven international flights.

He said some flights could land using the recently introduced Category III B system. Normal operations could be restored only after 9 am, he said.

A railway spokesperson said the arrival of trains in the Capital was delayed because of the fog. However, departures remained unaffected.

A minimum temperature of 7.5 C was recorded, which was one less than normal, the weather office said.

As mercury dipped slightly to 7.5C this morning, fog enveloped the city, reducing visibility on the runway to less than 100 metres.

Not a single flight was able to take off or land at the IGI Airport here between 2 am and 9 am, airport sources said.

Nearly 40 flights, including international, of Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Deccan and Air Sahara were delayed.

Flights of several international airlines, including Lufthansa, could not land at Delhi airport and had to be diverted.

Trains too ran behind schedule with an Ambala-bound train that reaches New Delhi at 5.15 am getting delayed by over seven hours, Northern Railway officials said.


Two more die of cold

Chandigarh, December 24
A thick fog over many parts of North India today disrupted rail, road and air traffic, with two cold-related deaths being reported from Haryana.

While the Jet Airways cancelled its flight to this city operating from Delhi, the Air Deccan also announced cancellation of its Delhi-Chandigarh-Jammu and return flights as the national capital was enveloped in a thick layer of fog, airline sources said here.

Train services on the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka rail section of the Northern Railway remained disrupted for the second day today for several hours on account of dense fog.

Traffic on National Highway No. 1 and many state highways in the northern region was disrupted due to poor visibility caused by fog.

Meanwhile, there was no let-up in cold-wave conditions in the region. Srinagar in the Kashmir valley reeled under intense cold as the mercury plummetted to minus 5.8 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal.

Most Punjab towns continued to be in the grip of bone-chilling cold.

In Himachal Pradesh, state capital Shimla, which received a mild snowfall yesterday, saw the mercury drop to 1.2C, three degrees below normal.

Sundernagar and Bhuntar also reeled under intense cold conditions.

PANIPAT: Two persons reportedly died of cold during the past 24 hours in the district. According to sources, both victims were middle-aged men and were found from different places. PTI, TNS

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