Hyderabad: A time lag before the generator came on at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Monday led to confusion and panic among passengers who took to social media to complain about passenger safety measures at the airport.
Some 60,000 passengers pass through RGIA every day so when power went off for a few minutes, it led to a panic-like situation as passengers wanted to know why the huge glass doors were locked when they can be used as exit routes.
Actor Riteish Deshmukh who was at the airport on May 27 witnessed the incident. He wrote on social media, “Suddenly the power went out and the way in and out is an elevator that shuts down. The only exit door is locked in a chain which was a huge glass door. It is a tragedy waiting to happen in case of fire. Security personnel refuse to give permission to open the door. It is a public exit and it can’t be locked in case of emergencies it must be accessible.”
The issue of the locked door worried many people who thanked Riteish for bringing it up.
They commented that it was a serious issue and that the state government and airport authorities must act on it.
Locking doors for security reasons is not a solution as there are security personnel and security equipment to deal with any breach.
The airport authorities stated that to facilitate the system of departure and arrival and also allow for the easy movement of passengers at the airport, there are doors which are locked so that there is no confusion.
But at that moment it was taken differently by passengers who wanted to know whether their safety would be compromised in case of a fire by keeping the doors locked.
The airport authorities stated that a technical snag led to the momentary loss of power and the back-up generator took time to kick in. The inconvenience caused is regretted they said.
The fire brigade’s response time is supposed to be four minutes and there are three fire stations within one kilometre radius of the airport.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited, which runs the airport, said in a written statement, “While we fully appreciate the observation made by Mr Riteish Deshmukh, we would like to inform that Hyderabad airport is 100 per cent compliant. All the safety measures as per norms of National Building Code (NBC) 2016 are followed. We thank Mr Riteish Deshmukh for highlighting and appreciate his concern. We did a thorough investigation and found that it was a momentary power trip and the power back up kicked in a little later than the normal. There is no need for panic or alarm as we are fully-equipped to handle any kind of exigency.”