Travelling into black hole


That life is more valuable and precious than anything else on the earth dawns upon people when they happen to travel in dense foggy conditions, where like travelling into a black hole one comes to lose all conceptions of time and space.
Like other parts of the world, severe winter conditions have also disrupted routine life activities in Pakistan. As a severe cold wave is sweeping the country, travelling on highways and motorways has literally become a nuisance. And, travellers who have been through the nightmarish experience put it this way that if one survives, one can have the world.
Authorities have issued travel advisory amid a forecast of dry and cold weather in most parts of the country urging the people to abandon any plans to travel unless it is inevitable. As dense fog is covering mountains and plains across the country, temperatures have plummeted to freezing point.
For the safety of motorists and passengers, the National Highways and Motorways Police have chalked a detailed plan to close the motorways during the night and morning to cope with the traffic chaos and prevent any mishap. A phenomenal dense fog covers the Mardan-Peshawar section of Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway and reduces the visibility to zero, which can prove fatal for the travellers.
The Meteorological Department has forecast that the weather would remain partially cloudy and there are chances of dense fog in the morning and during the night. In addition to KP, thick fog is also forecast to engulf major cities of Punjab province, including Jhelum, Lahore, Gujranwala, Narowal, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Jhang, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan.
According to weather statistics, temperatures recorded in different parts of the country remained as: Skardu -14C, Ziarat -10C, Kalat -9C, Kalam -8C, Astore -7C, Quetta and Gilgit -6C, Hunza -5C, Chitral and Dir -4C, where the temperature recorded in Peshawar remained zero degree Centigrade. In the federal capital, the mercury fell to 1C and, Lahore 6C.
As the fog is playing havoc with holiday travel plans, the Pakistan International Airlines’ operations have also been hit hard. Due to a dense fog covering Lahore, the airlines have decided to divert its flight operations from Lahore to Islamabad.
According to weather pundits, cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while very cold in upper parts. Dense foggy conditions are likely to continue over plain areas of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and upper Sindh. Frosty conditions and fog are likely to occur at isolated places in Pothohar region and Kashmir during morning hours. Very cold weather is forecast for Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.
It is needless to say that whether driving or flying, fog results in travel disruptions and delays and in some cases flight cancellations. Weather experts view that though forecasting fog can be difficult, but its proper prediction is important to stave off any risk to life and avoid frustration for the people.
Either travelling in the daytime saves one from the frustration, or starting ahead of the scheduled time works to prevent any mishap. And, the best way out of such unpredictable conditions is to abide by the travel advisories issued from time to time by the traffic authorities and the weather office.