Uninterrupted services at Visakhapatnam Airport

Visakhapatnam Airport
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A view of the entrance of the Visakhapatnam Airport on Monday

Highlights

A decade back, Visakhapatnam Airport used to get submerged quite frequently whenever heavy rains lashed the city. But what seems to be a major change now is that the flight services continue sans any interruption.

Visakhapatnam: A decade back, Visakhapatnam Airport used to get submerged quite frequently whenever heavy rains lashed the city. But what seems to be a major change now is that the flight services continue sans any interruption.

One of the main reasons for the airport experiencing inundation problem is the presence of Meghadrigedda reservoir which is nearer to the airport. After a long time, the terminal got inundated, causing difficulty to the passengers to wade through the flooded water both inside and outside the premises.

In the past 24 hours, Visakhapatnam Airport registered 27-cm of rainfall. Even when cyclone Hudhud ravaged the city in October 2014, Visakhapatnam did not witness such heavy rainfall as it had during Gulab.

After a long time, waterlogging problem recurred at the airport as the three gates of Meghadrigedda reservoir were lifted to clear the flow of the rainwater. Currently, the authorities concerned have taken up the exercise of releasing 16,000 cusecs of water from the reservoir. As a result, airport area, Sheela Nagar and other neighbouring places were inundated.

However, except delayed departures and arrivals, the flight services did not get interrupted, notwithstanding the waterlogging. The district administration and the airport authority swung into action to ensure the services continued without any disruption and made efforts to halt the discharge of the voluminous flow of water from Meghadrigedda.

There was no cancellation of flights. "A total of 22 domestic flights arrived and departed on Monday. Barring a few delayed takeoff and landing, the situation returned to normalcy in a while. About 10 motors were used to clear waterlogging at the premises, including the canopy area.," mentions K Srinivasa Rao, Airport Director.

Years back, it was a different scenario. From a day to a week, all flight services remained cancelled whenever the city registered a heavy rainfall. To put an end to this problem, a drainage channel was proposed and built under YS Rajashekara Reddy's regime at an estimated cost of Rs 60 crore as a part of the flood-proofing works. It, however, aided in controlling the flooded water arriving to the airport from Meghadrigedda reservoir to a large extent and stopped the stream from inundating the airport premises until now.

At a time when Visakhapatnam is poised to become the executive capital of Andhra Pradesh, the airport draws larger attention once again. Apparently, the district administration paid special attention on clearing the waterlogging at the airport. "Additionally, steps will be considered to chart out permanent solution to the waterlogging issue at the airport," says A Mallikarjuna, District Collector.

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