In an admission of the fact that the roof of Delhi airport’s departure terminal is faulty, the airport authorities are building a new roof above the existing one. This, they believe, should stop it from leaking every time it rains.
Ever since the new domestic departure terminal 1D of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport opened three months ago, its roof has been leaking notwithstanding the intensity of the rain.
On August 21, parts of the roof just blew off when the airport recorded a heavy rainfall of 31.8 mm and wind blowing at 92 kmph. The roof again leaked on Wednesday when the rainfall was just 17.4 mm and there was no wind to speak of.
Private airport developer Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) has been maintaining that there is nothing wrong with the roof and it was the unprecedented bad weather on August 21 that did the damage.
Its plan to build a roof to protect the existing roof washes away the claim.
“We have spent Rs 2 lakh in the last few days just repairing the roof of the terminal but it is beyond repair now. That is why a new roof has to be build above it,” said a senior airport official who didn’t wish to be named fearing reprisal.
“The existing roof is built of aluminium but the new roof above it would be a steel structure. This should stop rainwater from trickling in.”
Sources said if the new roof were found waterproof, the existing roof beneath it would be dismantled later.
The existing roof of the airport is not a unified structure and is built of many panels — the joint between which helps rainwater seep through.
“The problem is with the complicated way in which these new roofs are constructed. There are many layers and skylights which means it has too many joints that help water to trickle in,” he said.
Admitting the plan to construct a new roof, a DIAL spokesman said maintenance teams are carrying out repair job on the existing roof.
The spokesman said these teams carry out construction work only in the night to avoid any disturbance to operations at day time.