If you intend to travel to Chennai by air, you might want to watch your head. In a recent addition to the series of glass falling events at the Chennai airport, a glass panel fell in the airport on Tuesday, making it the 63rd such incident since its renovation in 2012.
About 13 people have been injured in 4 years of incidents of falling glass ceilings at the airport, The News Minute reported.
A series of such incidents led the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to step into the matter.
On 6 April, the NHRC had issued notice to the civil aviation ministry and the Airports Authority of India.
“Providing safety and security to passengers is one of the cardinal duties of airline operators and also of airport authorities. Further, the quality and standard of construction of airports should be as per required safety standards,” Justice D Murugesan, member of NHRC, had observed.
The NHRC, which received a complaint on the issue, said the Chennai airport, despite having been renovated in 2012, had witnessed 61 incidents of falling glass till the day.
“It is really surprising that despite 61 incidents of glass fall, the authorities appear to have not paid heed to the safety concerns of people. If the allegations levelled are true, the matter needs to be inquired into,” Murugesan said.
According to the complaint which the Commission received on 4 April, the Chennai Airport was fully modernised in 2012 and within six months of the renovation, the ceiling of the terminal had fallen down, and such incidents continued to happen.
Due to this, there is a continuous fear among travelers and airport employees. The quality of construction at the Chennai Airport and its sustainability is questionable, the NHRC observed.
According to a Livemint report, the airport was developed at a cost of Rs.2,015 crore increasing the annual handling capacity to 16 million domestic passengers and 7 million international passengers from 6 million and 3 million, respectively.
In 2014, according to an NDTV report, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had ordered a surprise check of the airport. The bathrooms and the food court were found in bad shape, windows were broken and several Members of Parliament complained of poor baggage-handling and other facilities.
On 3 August 2015, after one of such glass shattering incident, an airline official had told The Times of India that AAI does not have quality equipment to detect stress in glass panels.
“Poor air conditioning inside the building, and poor quality metal fixtures used on the glass doors cause the damage,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
With inputs from agencies