The problem of water-logging at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here has been solved with the construction of a 4-km-long storm-water tunnel drain, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Thursday.

The 4-km tunnel drain has been constructed as part of a drain connecting Dwarka underpass near IGI Airport to Najafgarh drain. The first phase of the project has been completed at a cost of Rs.110 crore and in the second phase, a 7-km-long box drain connecting the airport boundary wall from Mahipalpur to Rewari railway track would be completed by April 2010.

Ms. Dikshit, who along with Mr. Patel also inaugurated a walkway and inspected the third runway at IGI Airport and various newly developed facilities, described the tunnel drain project as a challenging one because heavy rains just after completion of box pushing under the railway track caused accumulation of huge quantity of water in the airport area adjacent to the railway track which washed away the earth from railway embankment.

She said restoration work for the same had to be done on war-footing to resume the service on the railway tracks. She complimented the role of the Public Works Department in commissioning various Commonwealth Games-related projects with speed, accuracy and quality and stated that hosting the event in Delhi has provided an excellent opportunity to simultaneously commission various infrastructure projects.

Mr. Patel lauded the Delhi Government for taking up this important project to make the airport complex safe from the fear of unexpected water-logging that could result in disruption in air services. He expressed hope that the Delhi Government would continue to provide its substantial contribution in making the international airport complex modern and world-class.

It was also informed that since as part of the expansion of the IGI Airport, a third runway was constructed in low lying areas and it had faced water-logging problems aggravated by storm-water flow from neighbouring areas of Rangpuri, Mahipalpur and Samalkha villages, a decision was taken to construct a drain along the periphery of the airport from Mahipalpur to Najafgarh drain, passing through the embankment of Rewari railway line.

In the first phase, the 4-km-long drain from the airport boundary to Najafgarh drain has been constructed by “cut and cover” method. The depth of the drain varies from about 3 m under the railway track near the airport boundary to 4 m near the outfall at Najafgarh drain.

This drain will be able to discharge a cumulative of 2,500 cusecs of water, which includes about 1300 cusecs from the airport, and would also facilitate removal of 500 cusecs of water from the adjacent areas of Dwarka. And in future, the top surface of the drain will be used as a service road to serve the integrated freight complex along with other facilities planned in the area.

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