Flight services at the Chennai airport were disrupted on Saturday due to the smoke caused by Bhogi festival celebrations in the city. Airport officials told PTI that 18 flight services – flying in from destinations such as Kuwait, Sharjah and Delhi – were diverted to Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports.
No flights took off between 4-8 am, resulting in delays with scores of passengers left waiting at the airport. Due to the thick layer of smoke, both incoming and outgoing air traffic suffered in this period leading to the disruption in flight services, but the services have resumed now, ANI reported.
Bhogi is celebrated ahead of the Tamil harvest festival Pongal, which begins Sunday. During Bhogi celebrations, revelers burn old articles as a symbolic gesture of bidding farewell to the old and welcoming the new.
Elsewhere in the city, motorists drove their vehicles with headlights on due to the smoke cover which descended on the city. The government conducts regular awareness campaigns ahead of Bhogi to promote smoke-free celebrations during the festival.
Meanwhile, Delhi – which celebrates Lohri today along with Punjab – woke up to a misty Saturday morning. The minimum temperature in Delhi was recorded at 5.5 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average, the weather office told IANS.
The Met Office has also predicted a clear day ahead. “The morning was misty with shallow fog. The day will mainly be clear,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.
(With agency inputs)