Cancelled, rescheduled trains, flights leave hundreds of commuters stranded

Air and rail traffic continued to remain hit for the third consecutive day as foggy conditions prevailed in the National Capital Region on Thursday. The rescheduling of an increasing number of flights and trains left hundreds of commuters harried on Thursday.

According to airport officials, over 100 flights was rescheduled, 34 were cancelled at the Indira Gandhi International Airport due to bad weather and other operational reasons. While on Wednesday around two dozen trains were rescheduled, on Thursday departure of 32 trains from Delhi were delayed by several hours as most of them arrived in the city behind schedule.

Low visibility

Airport officials said runway visibility started to deteriorate after 6:30 a.m. and take-offs were suspended as runway visibility dropped to less than 125 metres, the required minimum for the low visibility take off (LVTO). Planes arriving at Delhi airport were able to land using the CAT-III B instrument landing system (ILS), but it was also stopped as the visibility at one end of the runway went below 50 metres around 7.30 a.m., the officials said.

Chaos was palpable at all the major railway stations in the city as thousands of commuters were left stranded due to delay of trains. Several long-distance trains, including Rajdhani and Shatabdi, arrived behind schedule, ranging from two to eight hours.

Some of the major trains that arrived late include Purushottam Express, Kolkata and Patna Rajdhani, Kanpur Shatabdi, Allahabad Duronto and Praygraj Express, among others. Northern Railway officials said while three trains were cancelled on Thursday, timing of 32 long and short-distance trains were rescheduled by several hours.

Winter rush

The Railways had cancelled a few trains even before the fog set in to ensure better management of traffic movement during the bad weather. Divisional railway manager of Delhi, Anurag Sachan said the department is making all arrangements to ensure the passengers stranded at the station are not devoid of the basic facilities.

The department has also augmented the passenger-carrying capacity of some important trains to clear the winter rush.

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