- Dense fog has caused disruption to air and road traffic in many areas of Punjab.
- Multiple sections of Motorway have to be closed on Wednesday.
- Motorway spokesman advised motorists to avoid unnecessary travel.
LAHORE: Several highways and motorways in many areas of Punjab remained closed on Wednesday due to thick fog. Intense fog conditions caused many trains to be delayed for hours.
Cold weather conditions also caused significant disruptions to flight schedules due to thick fog.
The Lahore-Multan Motorway from Faizpur to Nankana Sahib, the M-2 Motorway from Lahore to Kot Momin and the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway from Lahore to Sambrial remained closed for traffic, while traffic flow was badly affected on other highways in central Punjab especially GT Road due to poor visibility. A Motorways spokesperson advised drivers to avoid unnecessary travel, use fog lights on their vehicles, and call helpline 130 for assistance if needed.
Traffic remained congested on various roads entering and exiting Lahore, requiring high-ranking officials such as CTO Lahore Dr. Asad Malhi to visit problem areas such as Thokar Niaz Baig, Canal Road, Raiwind Road, Johar Town, Khayaban-e-Amin Township, and Multan Road to monitor traffic management. All vehicles entering from the Eastern Bypass, Thokar Niaz and Babu Sabu were prohibited due to the closure of the motorway. He stated that the number of wardens at the entry and exit routes had been increased to assist motorists. He said that the traffic wardens were working to keep traffic flowing in heavy fog, adding that citizens are being kept informed through the Raasta App and FM 88.6 about the fog situation.
Heavy fog at Allama Iqbal Airport reduced visibility to 50 meters, forcing the cancellation or delay of many domestic and foreign flights. Turkish Airlines flight TK 715 from Lahore to Istanbul, TK 714 from Istanbul to Lahore, Oman Airline flight WY 342 to Muscat were cancelled, while flight PK 740 from Jeddah to Lahore will be operated today (Thursday) at 4:30 am, says a CAA spokesperson.
Meanwhile, flight PK 203 from Dubai to Lahore was delayed for 10 hours, while flight PK 204 to Dubai will fly today (Thursday) at 4am; PK 840 from Jeddah to Lahore, PK 739 from Lahore to Jeddah, PA 413 from Sharjah to Lahore and PK 230 from Muscat to Lahore were also delayed.
A flight PF-146 from Lahore to Karachi and PF-145 from Karachi to Lahore were also canceled. CAA spokesperson said the visibility limit at Multan Airport was reduced to 600 meters, diverting flights to Islamabad including Dubai to Sialkot flight PK 180, Jeddah to Lahore PK 768, Madina to Lahore PK 848 and Madina to Lahore PK 748, and the passengers were dispatched to their cities in the buses provided by the airlines. The spokesperson advised the passengers to confirm flights schedule before leaving for airports, or visit www.caapakistan.com.pk or contact helpline numbers 080000114114 and 111222114.
The train schedule was also delayed by 7 to 8 hours due to heavy fog forcing passengers to suffer for hours under severe cold weather. Pak Business Express from Karachi to Lahore was delayed 7 hours, Pakistan Express was delayed 8 hours, Tezgam was delayed 6 hours, Rehman Baba Express was delayed 6 hours, Millat Express was delayed 5 hours, Allam Iqbal Express was delayed 5 hours, Khyber Mail was delayed 5 hours, Karachi Express was delayed 4 hours, Karakoram Express was delayed 3 hours, Jafar Express was delayed 4 hours, Baba Farid Express was delayed 3 hours.