How fire safe is the new airport?
The new domestic departure terminal, 1D, at Delhi Airport does not adhere to all the recommended fire-safety norms and is yet to receive a no objection certificate from the fire-safety department, according to the Delhi Fire Service.
After an inspection on Wednesday, DFS officials found that 1D is not fully constructed and all fire-safety measures are not in place. The terminal is used by three airlines and about 10,000 passengers every day.
“We inspected the terminal today and because work is still going on there, all the systems could not be checked,” said DFS chief R.C. Sharma.
“However, fire-safety measures that are recommended are not present there. All the systems are not commissioned yet and have not been tested.”
Sharma refused to give details about which systems were not in place and which recommendations were not being followed.
Airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) admitted it was yet to receive an NOC from the fire-safety department, but said the delay was only procedural.
“We have submitted all building drawings and papers to the fire-safety department,” said the DIAL spokesman.
“We’re expecting the NOC in just a day or two. The fire-safety department carried out an inspection last week and another was conducted on Wednesday.”
Asked why DIAL opened the new terminal without the mandatory permissions,
the spokesman said its
internal fire-safety department had found the building safe
for operations during inspection.
“We’ve our own fire-safety department with about 400 trained personnel,” he said.
“This terminal was found fit for operations by them and that’s why we could open it for operations.”
DIAL also said high-tech fire-safety equipment had been installed at the terminal. Spread over 33,000 sq m, the new terminal will eventually replace 1B, the old terminal. It was opened for operations on April 19. Kingfisher, Kingfisher Red and IndiGo have shifted to 1D and Jet Airways, JetLite and SpiceJet are expected to do so by the end of April.