Dense fog persists over North India, affecting train and flight operations; DGCA issues SOPs directing airlines to share accurate real-time information with passengers

Last Updated: Jan 16, 2024

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Dense fog conditions are prevailing over North India as cold waves continue in the region, affecting train and flight operations. The India Meteorological Department, IMD said, a layer of fog was seen from Punjab to northeastern parts of the country across Haryana, North MP, UP, Bihar, and West Bengal at 0530 this morning. The patches of fog were also seen along the east coast of India.

The IMD has forecast that cold to severe cold day conditions will continue over the plains of North India till tomorrow. These conditions will prevail over parts of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar till today. The weather agency said that cold wave conditions at many places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan are likely today. Ground frost at isolated places over Uttarakhand is also forecast. IMD said an isolated hailstorm is likely tomorrow over Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

Meanwhile, dense to very dense fog will continue over parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar during next the two days. It added that dense fog will cover parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and North East India for the next two days.

The weather agency said the minimum temperature in Northwest India will rise by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius during the next 4 days. No significant change in minimum temperatures is expected over East India till tomorrow with a rise of 3 to 4 degrees Celsius thereafter.

The IMD also predicted light rain and snowfall over parts of Jammu Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand for the next two days. Light to moderate rainfall is expected over parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, and Northeast India during the next three days.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed airlines to publish accurate real-time information regarding delays of their flights to the affected passengers. The DGCA has issued mandatory Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to airlines given the recent flight disruptions due to adverse weather conditions at various airports. As per the SOP, the airlines have to notify the passengers through their website, direct messaging, and airport bulletins. It also asked the airlines to sensitise their staff to suitably communicate, guide, and inform the passengers about their flight delays.

The DGCA has further allowed the airlines to potentially cancel any anticipated or consequentially delayed flights beyond three hours due to adverse weather conditions to prevent congestion and mitigate passenger inconvenience.

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