Commercial flight operations resumed in Chennai amid intermittent rain today, four days after the airport was shut due to excessive water-logging. The runway was initially opened only for day-time flights, but the airport will be fully operational from tomorrow morning.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
- It has been raining intermittently in Chennai since Friday night. The Met department has said the city and some areas in coastal Tamil Nadu are likely to witness moderate to heavy rainfall today due to a new trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal.
- The first flight to take off from the airport this morning was a chartered plane. After that, an Air India flight with 150 passengers took off for Port Blair. Two more flights, including one of Jet Airways, were likely to depart from the airport in the evening.
- The airport will resume 24-hour domestic and international flight operations from 6 am tomorrow, Airports Authority of India officials said.
- Deepak Shastri, the airport’s director, told that the airport was using Indian Air Force’s radar as its own radar and navigation equipment were damaged in the flooding.
- Yesterday, the airport was opened for flights carrying relief supplies. The runway was declared fit for operating flights after inspection by staff of the Airports Authority of India.
- A total 34 aircraft of various airlines were stranded at the airport when the Airports Authority of India decided to shut the airport till December 6, after incessant rain inundated the runway. On an average, Chennai airport handles 320 landings and take-offs in a day, including international flights.
- While water has receded from most parts of the city, several low-lying areas are still inundated. Mudichur and Oorappakkam, for example, are still battling severe water-logging. Relief efforts by the Army and the national and state disaster response forces are still continuing here. Focus has now shifted to making relief material available to all and preventing outbreak of diseases.
- Intermittent rain is threatening to hamper relief efforts and attempts to clear roads. Anger is mounting among residents who accuse local authorities of failing to work swiftly.
- Improved transport facilities including buses, trains and autos are back on roads in many places aiding the city to limp back to normalcy.
- Mobile phone and Internet services were getting restored in a phased manner in several parts of the city. Residents in many areas are still complaining of shortage of essential commodities like milk and vegetables and clean drinking water.