Fog disrupts air traffic, all flights cancelled

Vehicles plying amid dense fog in Srinagar on Saturday. (UNI)
Vehicles plying amid dense fog in Srinagar on Saturday. (UNI)

Sgr-Leh NH closed for 16th day

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Dec 7: Poor visibility at Srinagar Airport due to dense fog in Kashmir today disrupted flight operations leading to cancellation of all flights operating from here.
Dense foggy conditions prevailed in Srinagar and Budgam districts in Central Kashmir today with visibility at Srinagar Airport fell below 600 metres forcing the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to cancel all the 28 flights that were scheduled for today.

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This is the second consecutive day that the flight operations were affected at Srinagar Airport. Yesterday, 11 flights were cancelled at Srinagar Airport due to poor visibility.
Hundreds of passengers had reached the airport and were waiting for the fog to clear but had to return to Srinagar as visibility didn’t improve at the airport.
There is no good news as Weatherman has forecast slight improvement in foggy condition tomorrow but these conditions will persist till December 10.
Director Metereological Department, Sonam Lotus, told Excelsior that for last 10 days weather in Kashmir is dry and calm, there are suspended particles in the atmosphere and minimum temperature is also below normal and this has led to foggy conditions. He said that the brick kilns in Budgam are the major contributors for foggy conditions in Srinagar and Budgam as they contribute to the dust particles in the atmosphere.
Lotus forecast heavy to moderate snowfall in Kashmir and rains in Jammu region from December 11 to 13. “There will be heavy to moderate snowfall in Kashmir between December 11 and 13. During this period there will be heavy to moderate rains in Jammu region”, he said.
The foggy conditions in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir led to poor visibility for the third consecutive day today. The vehicles in the morning were plying at snail’s pace. Majority of the people in the morning preferred to stay indoors due to sub-zero temperatures in the morning. However, there was slight improvement in weather during the day.
And in the meantime, despite efforts by Border Roads Organization (BRO) to clear the Srinagar-Leh National Highway at Zojila pass, the highway remained closed for last 16 days. It was closed for traffic on 21st of November after snowfall in the region and since then there have been untiring efforts by the BRO to clear it. They are fighting against avalanches, sub-zero temperatures and windy conditions.
The worst problematic areas for BRO are Mandir Morh, Pani Matha, Captain Morh and India Gate where it is more slippery and temperature hovers around minus 30 degree Celsius with strong winds making working in the area more difficult.