Things are finally returning to normal at the Cargo terminal of Indira Gandhi International Airport. Delhi's exporters and importers have been facing a hard time at the airport's cargo terminal since the past one month with hundred of tonnes of cargo lying at the terminal for days due to space constraint.
Hundreds of trucks could be seen waiting endlessly for days outside the terminal, resulting in losses in crores of rupees every day.
The terminal was able to handle only 600 tonnes of cargo every day even when the cargo traffic is nearly 1,000 tonnes per day. The delays, however, have now reduced and so have the queues outside the terminal.
"Cargo is now being processed even on weekends and holidays, which has helped in clearing the backlog," said an airport official, who didn't wish to be named.
"The delays have been reduced by 50% but more improvement is required," said Ramu Deora, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.
"The cargo terminal, which could handle 1,280 tonnes of cargo per day, is under renovation. As a result only half of the terminal is being used, reducing its capacity to 600 tonnes," he said.
The airport's cargo handling firm, Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management, however, said renovation is not the problem. "Whenever a portion of the terminal is closed for renovation, sufficient space is provided for cargo processing so that the terminal's handling capacity is not reduced," said Sanjay Khanna, CEO of the firm.
Exporters had faced huge delays in December 2010, too, when the upgradation of the software used by the customs department resulted in utter chaos and piling up of tonnes of cargo at the terminal.
"Thanks to these recurrent problems at the IGI airport's cargo terminal, exporters have not only lost crores of money but also their reputation in the international market," said a Delhi based exporter who didn't wish to be named.
"If these problems continue, we would lose our business to other South East Asian countries," he said.