Fliers brave it, staff brave it... | india | Hindustan Times
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Fliers brave it, staff brave it...

WITH ABOUT 2,500 of the 3,000-odd Airports Authority of India employees being on strike, airport operations should have grounded to a halt. But that did not happen -- in fact it was business as usual inside the terminal buildings.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 12:29 IST

... keep India airborne

WITH ABOUT 2,500 of the 3,000-odd Airports Authority of India employees being on strike, airport operations should have grounded to a halt. But that did not happen -- in fact it was business as usual inside the terminal buildings.

So who kept the Delhi airport functioning for the past two days? Barely 500-odd AAI personnel -- engineers, air traffic controllers and technicians.

AT AIRPORTS: FIRE, DELAYS

Delhi: Flights operated normally but auxillary services were hit. Protesters blocked entry and exit points from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There were two minor incidents of fire (one in retiring room)

Mumbai: Flights normal but passenger amenities suffered. Heavy police deployment to facilitate passenger movement. Protesters scared away private cleaning staff brought in by the CISF

Kolkata: Flight operation remained near-normal with 52 flights taking off and 48 arriving till 5 pm. Passengers faced difficult time with almost non-existent amenities

Passengers too braved the anger of protestors who blocked the entry points to the terminal buildings. Lots of them came prepared to trudge about a kilometre with their luggage in tow.

At the airport, however, the sight of overflowing garbage cans, filthy toilets and dry water taps greeted them. On Wednesday night, the AAI had taken an NGO's help to clean up.

There were violent scenes when 300-odd employees went charging towards the car of former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu. He escaped, but the car's tyres were deflated. Former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi was also harassed. Meanwhile, the Delhi HC restrained the AAI employees from disrupting in any manner the functioning of airports in the country.