Dense fog severely disrupted the departures at the Delhi Airport, news agency ANI tweeted on Tuesday morning. According to reports, no flight took off from the Delhi Airport since 7:30 am due to poor visibility conditions. No official announcement has been made so far regarding the current status of the departure schedule. This comes at a time, when the airports witness maximum rush in the long holiday season. This poor maintenance comes despite the assurance of the the Airports Authority of India.
On Monday, a top Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) official told ANI that the Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) system, in use in nine countries and being introduced in India for the first time, will provide information to airlines at the place of origin of a flight about the status of fog and congestion in Delhi so that they can plan their flights to the national capital accordingly.
As of now, in case of fog at Delhi airport, incoming flights are diverted to nearby airports, which causes a lot of inconvenience to the passengers. North India is witnessing severe cold wave conditions. Srinagar witnessed its coldest night in 11 years at minus 6.8 degrees Celsius on Monday, resulting in partial freezing of the Dal Lake, and Amritsar reeling at 1.1 degrees Celsius.
Delhiites woke up to a chilly Monday morning as the minimum temperature settled at 4.6 degrees Celsius. The fall in temperature is due to cold wave conditions prevailing over northwest India, the Meteorological Department (Met) said.
The minimum temperature in the national capital was three notches below the season's average, while the maximum temperature was recorded at 21.2 degrees Celsius, it said.
On Sunday, the maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded at 22 and 3.7 degrees Celsius respectively
Srinagar -- the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir -- recorded its coldest night in 11 years as the mercury plunged to minus 6.8 degrees Celsius on Monday, a Met official said.
The cold wave resulted in freezing of some water bodies, including the fringes of the famous Dal Lake, and residential water supply pipes.
The all-time low recorded in Srinagar in the month of December is minus 12.8 degrees Celsius on December 13, 1934.
"Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius. This is the coldest recorded temperature in the city in almost 11 years. The city had registered a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius on December 31, 2007," he told PTI.
He official said Qazigund ? the gateway town to the valley - in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 3.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday night.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, the official said.
The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, he said, adding that the resort was colder than Gulmarg and was the coldest place in the valley.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the minimum temperature of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius, he said.
The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 14.7 degrees Celsius on Sunday night ? down from minus 14.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, which was the coldest night of the season in the frontier town.
The nearby Kargil recorded a low of minus 15.3 degrees Celsius, he added.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' ? the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
'Chillai-Kalan' ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir.
The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).
However, the winter this season has been dry so far, although there was a spell of early snowfall in the valley in first and second week of November.
The prolonged dry spell has resulted in an increase in common ailments like cough, cold and other respiratory problems, especially among children and elderly.
The weatherman has forecast mainly dry weather in the state till Wednesday.
Punjab and Haryana witnessed below-normal minimum temperatures on Monday, with Amritsar and Halwara reeling at 1.1 degrees Celsius , a Met official said.
A thick blanket of fog reduced visibility at several places in the two states, including Ludhiana, Patiala, Adampur, Amritsar, Halwara, Sirsa, Bhiwani, Rohtak, Jhajjar and Ambala.
Reduced visibility caused by dense fog resulted in a pile-up of around 10 vehicles on a national highway in Haryana's Jhajjar district, killing eight people and injuring 10 others.
Karnal was the coldest place in the state at 3.4 degrees Celsius, while Ambala and Hisar recorded respective minimums of 3.8 degrees Celsius and 4.5 degrees Celsius, he said.
Rohtak (5.4 degrees Celsius), Bhiwani (6.2 degrees Celsius) and Sirsa (5.2 degrees Celsius) also recorded below normal minimum temperatures.
Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 5.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.
The cold wave is likely to continue in Haryana and Punjab over the next few days, he added.
Cold wave conditions prevailed in some parts of Rajasthan despite a slight increase in night temperature, a MeT official said.
Cold conditions along with dense fog in Alwar and Sriganganagar districts reduced visibility, he added.
Technical faults resulting from fog disrupted electricity supply in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts, power department officials said.
As per the MeT department, Sriganganagar recorded a minimum of 2.7 degrees Celsius, followed by 5.2 degrees Celsius in Churu, 5.5 degrees Celsius in Bikaner and 7.2 degrees Celsius in Udaipur.
The Maximum temperature was recorded in between 17.5 and 26 degrees Celsius at most of the places in the state, it said.
The MeT department has predicted cold wave conditions and ground frost in some parts of the state in the next 24 hours.