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Sweat it out at the Delhi airport

If you are travelling to Delhi and arriving by flight, it would be a good idea to carry a hand fan with you. Sidhartha Roy tells more.

delhi Updated: Jun 22, 2008 23:54 IST
Sidhartha Roy

If you are travelling to Delhi and arriving by flight, it would be a good idea to carry a hand fan with you.

The air-conditioning at the Delhi airport’s arrival terminal (1C) has not been functioning properly for some time and airport operator Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd. has installed pedestal fans to provide relief to passengers. The fans have been put up everywhere from the area where passengers arrive, near conveyor belts, transit lounge and till the canopy that leads to the exit.

“After you get down from the air-conditioned airline coach, a strange smell and the muggy air assaults you inside the arrival building,” said Damini Sinha, a passenger. “Delhi is perhaps the only airport where you can see such fans are being used for cooling,” she said.

Unprepared passengers were seen using their boarding passes to fan themselves and using their handkerchiefs repeatedly to wipe the sweat from their face. “It is very humid inside and I am just dying to get out of here as soon as my luggage arrives,” said Amrik Singh, another passenger.

The area between conveyor belt 1 and 3 is the worst hit, as the air-conditioner here is not working at all. “They have six belts inside but only two were working and baggage of three different flights were arriving on a single belt. I had to jostle and fight to get inside the crowd and claim my bag,” Singh said.

“As part of upgradation of domestic arrival, which involves expanding the terminal and adding more luggage reclaim belts, the AC is also being upgraded in various parts of the terminal,” a DIAL spokesman said. “Fans are provided in areas where AC ducting is being changed to minimise inconvenience to passengers,” he said.

He said upgradation of domestic arrival included new external canopy to provide shelter against sun and rain, free porters and a new cab system. “New road carpeting and widening of approach road will add to passenger convenience,” he said. DIAL, however, did not give a definite time by which the upgradation would be complete.