Runway lights at the Mumbai airport went off for 20 minutes on Thursday evening because workers repairing the secondary runway accidentally dug out and disconnected some of the underground cables. With repairs expected to continue for another month, airport officials feel there could be a repeat of the incident.
“Cables near the area where both the runways intersect were dug out, resulting in the power blip,” said an official at the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA), requesting anonymity as he not authorised to speak to the media. A spokesperson of the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) confirmed this.
On Friday, MIAL submitted a report to the DGCA, which is conducting an inquiry into the lapse.
“Nobody has a blueprint of the underground cable network that was laid five decades ago. As a result, workers dig up crucial power-supplying points,” explained a senior airport official.
The lack of a blueprint is one of main reasons why the repairs have missed their January 31 deadline.
Despite repeated calls, DGCA chief Nasim Zaidi did not respond.
No action has been taken yet against Larson & Toubro, the firm that is repairing the runway.