Special arrangements made for food and shelter of stranded passengers; AAI guest house and official suites opened to accommodate passengers. Special bus service arranged to ferry passengers.
GUWAHATI: Over the past few days, Assam saw some of the worst protests against the Citizenship Act. With curfew being imposed and airlines cancelling flights in and out of Guwahati and Dibruigarh (the worst affected places) hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airports.
Sanjeev Jindal, the Regional Executive Director (RED) of Airport Authority of India (AAI), North Eastern Region took the lead and went beyond duty’s call to ensure that every passenger was provided with food, water, proper sanitation facilities and was safe and comfortable.
Tents were set up at the Guwahati airport (tents are still there) and food was brought in from nearby hotels to ensure that there was sufficient supply of food and water. Jindal even opened the airport authority’s guest houses to accommodate the stranded passengers.
“Our airports at Silchar, Agartala, Jorhat, Guwahati, Imphal, Tezu, Tezpur, Shillong and Lingpui are open for passengers all day and night. We are also allowing the passengers whose flights have either been cancelled or delayed to use the airport guest houses, offices lounges. Besides providing water and sanitation facilities to the passengers, we are also trying our best to provide food to the travelers,” Jindal told EastMojo.
It is at the behest of Jindal that the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) gave around 20 buses to ferry passengers to and from Guwahati airport. AAI ferried two bus load of passengers to Shillong on Friday night with police escort.
“I would like to reassure all the passengers that the AAI and all its stakeholders are working hard and in coordination to serve the people and to ensure that they travel safe,” Jindal said.
All airports of the Northeast. barring Dibrugarh airport are operating normally and open to serve the passengers of the region, Jindal said.
Dibrugarh airport was shut for past three days owing to violent protests in the town and reopened on Saturday. It would be fully operational from Sunday, Jindal told EastMojo.
“The decision to reopen Dibrugarh airport on Saturday was taken at a meeting of the officials of DGCA, civil aviation ministry and officials of the airlines. Indigo and Air India would start their flights from Sunday,” Jindal said. Nine flights operate from the Dibrugarh airport.
“Out of 130 scheduled flights, more than 115 flights are operational from the Guwahati airport,” he said.
None of the airports of the region have faced any untoward incidents so far during the protests, Jindal added.