New Delhi [India], September 12 (ANI): Telangana Congress leader and former vice chairman of National Disaster Management Authority M Shashidhar Reddy on Sunday urged Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia to undertake "immediate" flood audit of all airports across the country in view of frequent high-intensity rainfall events.
In a letter to Scindia, the Telangana Congress leader also urged to ensure early widening of the drainage system connecting terminal 'T3' of Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to Najafgarh Drain after a recent incident of water logging at the airport.
"Jyotiraditya Scindia Ji, mailed you this letter: 1. Urge you to take initiative to ensure early widening of the drainage system connecting T3 of Delhi Airport to Najafgarh Drain 2. Flood audit of all airports be taken immediately in view of frequent high-intensity rainfall events," said Reddy in a tweet posting a copy of the letter along with it.
In the letter, the Congress leader highlighted the incident of "flooding" at the "world-class airport in Delhi" on Saturday that caused "severe disruption to the public - about 100 flights were delayed and 5 diverted."
"Major operational areas like IGIA T3 terminal, airport taxiways, airport approach road etc. were submerged. This happened with just 24.4-millimetre (mm) rainfall from 8.30 am to 11.30 am (as recorded at Palam, the highest rainfall was recorded at Ridge 27.4 mm) while the 24-hour total, between ending at 8.30 am on September 11 was less than 50 mm," the letter said.
The Congress leader noted that there is a 17 metre (51 feet) steep gradient between National Highway NH8 and T3. "Due to this the entire area, in between, acts as a catchment and drains water towards T3. Normally, this water gets cleared by the drainage system from T3 to the Najafgarh Drain. Apparently, this did not happen," Reddy said.
The Congress leader said that consultants hired by the operator of the Delhi Airport to address this issue of flooding in 2011-2012 recommended widening the drainage system from T3 to the Najafgarh Drain.
"Regretfully, this has not been implemented even after so many years. This time the airport got flooded with less than half that time's rainfall," he said adding that operations at other major airports like Mumbai, Chennai, Vizag, Kolkata, Leh, etc have also been disrupted in the past due to high rainfall intensity in short duration.
Reddy said he "strongly feel that there is an urgent need for a Flood Audit of all the airports in India to identify flood-prone areas in and around the airport and take up immediate preventive measures thereafter on top priority."
"I hope that you will make a beginning by leading efforts for the much-needed widening of the drainage system to avoid flooding in Delhi Airport Terminal 3," he added.
The Civil Aviation Minister acknowledged the letter and tweeted, "Thank you for the letter. Please allow me some time to examine these issues and revert." (ANI)