Air, rail, road traffic hit in Punjab, Haryana

Thursday, January 6, 2011

CHANDIGARH - Thick fog hit hard air, train and road traffic across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Thursday, with the Chandigarh airport shut due to poor visibility and trains running behind schedule.

The fog also caused traffic jams, particularly on highways, disrupting inter-state road traffic.

Officials said visibility at the airport was less than 1,000 meters, not enough for planes to land or take off safely.

Airport director H.S. Toor told IANS that no flight had operated until midday Thursday.

We are hoping the weather will clear and flights will start operating normally. The whole region is facing fog and mist,” he said.

Railway officials said that train traffic was also badly hit.

The mercury dipped below normal in most parts of Punjab and Haryana. Haryana’s Narnaul town was coldest with a low of 0.5 degrees Celsius, six notches below normal.

Hissar saw a sharp plunge in the mercury, at 1.8 degrees. Ambala and Karnal towns recorded 5.3 and 3.4 degrees Celsius respectively.

Chandigarh recorded a minimum temperature of 5.7 degrees Celsius, three notches below average.

In the wake of the intense cold, the administration has extended the winter break for Chandigarh schools till Jan 11.

Officials say the cold wave will last till Saturday morning.

In Punjab, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala cities, the minimum temperature dropped to 4.8, 3.9 and 3.7 degrees Celsius respectively.

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