The Indira Gandhi International Airport,which got three times more rain than the rest of the city on Sunday,also bore the brunt of choked drains around the facility that led to reverse flow of rain water into the state-of-the-art Terminal 3.
Sources said the surface water flowed into Terminal 3 between 2 pm and 5 pm,with the water level inside the airport rising as high as the baggage belts. The conveyor belts had to be stopped due to excess water around them,officials said.
The rain water entered international and domestic arrival halls. The water-logging affected passenger movement,especially in the international halls and the lobby there, a source said
The problem seemed worse in the domestic arrivals area of T3,affecting the use of X-Ray machines,conveyor belts and lifts. The water-logging meant that passengers and airport staff had to wade their way through to the only two baggage retrieval belts five and six that were functional for three hours. The other four belts had to be shut down,sources inside the airport said.
The private airport operator,GMR-led Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL),blamed Sundays flooding on poor drainage in areas around the airport. In view of poor drainage in surrounding areas and the comparatively low elevation of the airport,Sundays heavy rainfall over 117 mm in just four hours led to back flow of water towards the terminals, a DIAL spokesperson said.
He said the airport had adequate capacity of all services and the operations remained more or less normal.