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Posted at: Mar 20, 2017, 1:56 AM; last updated: Mar 20, 2017, 1:56 AM (IST)

Flights grounded, international airport wears deserted look

Due to repair work, airport to remain closed on April 2 & 16 also
Flights grounded, international airport wears deserted look
The Chandigarh International Airport on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Ishrat S Banwait

Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19

The international airport wore a deserted look today due to the repair work of the runway. None of the 36 scheduled flights took off or landed here. Besides the security personnel and a few canteen workers, the airport saw no hustle bustle of nearly 5,000 people, who otherwise visit it on any given day.

This is the first time that the airport has remained closed for a full day. Earlier, on the first and third Sunday of each month, the airport would be functional till 1 pm only. The airport will similarly remain closed on April 2 and April 16. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the authorities to upgrade the airport from CAT II to CAT III instrument landing system. This will avoid delays in flights due to foggy and poor weather conditions.

While the airport authorities ave been working on increasing the number of flights at the airport, they have failed to provide enough facilities. However, even basic hygiene seems to be neglected as the only toilet block for the public is in poor condition. Airport CEO Sunil Dutt when contacted, said, “I will check if it is so and ensure cleanliness of the toilets.”

For anyone visiting the airport (that is not to board a flight) has access to only one toilet block which is situated in the parking and near the canteen. However, the condition of the toilets is pathetic. The canteen workers informed that the toilets usually remained blocked. The urinals were dirty and stench emanating from these was unbearable. While a few toilets remain locked, the ones that are open are very dirty and impossible to use.

The area having wash basins are poorly maintained with broken, leaking taps. Vikas Saini, a worker at the canteen, says, “Anyone who doesn’t have a ticket can use only these washrooms but the condition is very poor.” He added that he had submitted written complaints to the authorities on multiple occasions, but they had not taken any action.



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