Ankle deep: Despite renovation, rainwater floods airport

The airport recently got a makeover for worth Rs400 million


Zafar Ali Khan July 20, 2015
A canopy has been added as part of new facilities at the airport. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The newly-renovated Benazir Bhutto International Airport was flooded on Saturday morning after heavy rains lashed the twin cities.

Rainwater had entered the main arrival and departure lounge, forcing the airport authorities to engage sanitary staff to pump out the water which also made its way into many offices on the ground floor.

Passengers had to wade through ankle-deep rainwater to enter the boarding lounge while struggling to wade out of the parking area which presented the look of a giant swimming pool.

The rain not only contributed to flight delays but also cancellation of several domestic and international flights.

The airport was recently inaugurated by the prime minister after the Civil Aviation Authority spent Rs400 million on its renovation with addition of a canopy, a parking area for 700 cars, 16 modern toilets and other expansion work.

An official of the Civil Aviation Authority overseeing the pumping activity told The Express Tribune the contractor has laid small pipes on the roof of the airport, causing choking of rainwater.

When asked what was causing the flooding and what measures were being taken to fix the problem, the official, who requested anonymity, said he could only say they were currently focusing to drain out the rainwater. The official said the contractor and his engineers have to be blamed for the flooding.  According to the official, the heavy rain combined with poor drainage and low elevation of the airport led to the back flow of water towards the arrival lounge.

Owing to the flooding, services at the domestic arrivals were the most affected, which led the airport authorities to cancel many flights, causing inconvenience to passengers.

“This is the third consecutive day when flights for Gilgit have been cancelled and we are only told about the cancellation when we arrive at the airport,” said Komal Mirza, who was intending to travel to Gilgit, while leaving the airport.

Sami Ali, another passenger, who was also going to Gilgit, said the government should allow private operators to run the flights between Islamabad and Gilgit.

“It will only end the agony of passengers who face severe hardships due to the constant cancellation of flights to the mountainous region,” he said, adding that China should be allowed to operate flights from Islamabad to Gilgit.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2015. 

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COMMENTS (2)

ishrat salim | 5 years ago | Reply This is not yet over, the new metro train stations were also affected with flooding. No problem, who cares. Guys keep on shouting, no one will hear your voice because the corrupt people have put ear plugs in their ears after loot & plunder. Keep on voting them in year after year & let them complete their 5 year term, because you do not pay taxes but it is taken from the poor general public through indirect taxes. The only solution for this god dammed country is to nuke it. The poor are dying daily anyways, let them all die once, but they will not be the only victims but the elite class, politicians & bureaucrats too, in sha Allah.
SoFunny! | 5 years ago | Reply Just Wonderful! Public Money invested on Canopy or on Indoor beautiful Marble floors is directly related to our Fake Life Priorities. From our PM using PIA planes for transporting hundreds of family wedding guests to a Show-Off wedding in Medina munavvara, instead of paying from his empty-pocket, to Corrupt Leaders who even after robbing and looting public funds are still using dozens of, millions of dollars worth of, bullet proof cars and Police force...Free of Charge. Compare Hazrat Omar's Claim with pain: "If a dog die of thirst by a river bank, I'll be held responsible for that."
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