“It took me close to two hours just to cross Dhaula Kuan. It was a race against time and I somehow managed to board the flight moments before the doors were closed,” said Kunal Khanna, a Rohini resident.
Khanna was among the many passengers who either reached late or missed their flights at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday with all approach roads completely clogged.
The major choke points were Dhaula Kuan, Outer Ring Road and Mahipalpur intersections, all of which lead to the domestic terminals at the airport.
Passengers trying to reach the airport from Outer Ring Road too had to face long
traffic jams as ongoing construction work of two flyovers on the stretch slowed down
“Many passengers reported late for flights and some even came after departure of flights. As passengers were facing
genuine problem due to traffic snarls, we tried to accommodate them in next flights,” said an Air India official, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
Many cabin crew of airlines also reported late for duty.
“We had kept standby crew to tackle the problem,” the official said.
International passengers were in for the worse in the morning after a part of the Airport Road near Centaur Hotel, which leads to the international terminal, caved in.
The road had to be closed for sometime and a traffic snarl ensued.
“A tunnel for the Metro is being constructed underneath the area and it is covered with roof sheeting. Due to the rain, some of the surface sank and we had to shut traffic for sometime,” said a spokesman of the private airport developer Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL).
The incessant rain on Thursday led to rainwater entering the low-lying domestic arrival terminal and DIAL had to use pumps to drain the water out.
Fortunately, the roof of the domestic departure terminal 1D didn’t leak this time.
Also, as the strike by Jet Airways pilots entered the third day, a total of 71 flights, including arrivals and departures, of the airline were cancelled.