SRINAGAR – The air traffic was badly affected in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday as dense fog forced cancellation of all flights to and fro Srinagar airport, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded, officials said.
A total of 27 flights were scheduled for the day including a couple of those for armed personnel, the officials said.
“All the scheduled flights were cancelled due to poor visibility at the airport,” an official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.
He said the visibility at the airport was around 600 metres only this morning but since there was no improvement in the situation, the air traffic was suspended for the day.
The cancellation of the flights left hundreds of passengers stranded, the officials said.
The city experienced the coldest night of the season so far recording a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.
He said the heavy fog affected the visibility, causing problems to the people, especially motorists.
The MeT official said the valley is undergoing intense cold conditions as the mercury dipped several notches below the normal for this part of the season.
Life Disrupted In Valley
Life was disrupted on Saturday due to dense fog in the Kashmir valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, where people witnessed coldest night of the summer so far after the minimum temperature dropped further and settled at minus 3.6 degree.
In most areas, particularly in outskirts, taps, drains and water bodies near banks were frozen due to below freezing temperature coupled with icy cold winds.
Dense fog not only disrupted surface, but air traffic was also disrupted. As many as eleven flights were cancelled on Friday while not a single flight has so far landed at Srinagar airport till 1100 hrs, an official of Airport told UNI this morning.
We resumed flights at Srinagar airport only after 1230 hrs yesterday when there was improvement in the visibility, he said adding today is the similar situation. Air traffic will be resumed only once the visibility improves, he added.
Entire Kashmir valley witnessed dense fog this morning badly hitting traffic and pedestrian movement.
Though the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was through for traffic, reports received here said that vehicles with headlights on were moving in a very low speed due to dense fog.
In Srinagar, very less number of vehicles, as compared to other days, were seen plying on the roads with their headlights on. Hardly any pedestrian was seen on the roads due to severe chill.
A Met department spokesman said that visibility is just 20 meters in Srinagar on Saturday morning after minimum temperature witnessed further drop and settled at minus 3.6 degree, about three notches below normal.
The weather will remain dry and sky open due to which night temperature will remain below normal during the next 48 hours, he said.
Shops and business establishments, which were functioning since morning in Srinagar, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the city, opened only after 0930 hrs and 1000 hrs due to chilly weather conditions. Shopkeepers later close their shops between 1300 hrs to 1400 hrs to protest against scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A, besides dividing the state into two Union Territories (UTs) on August 5. (With Inputs From Agencies)