Passengers miss flights due to flood on road to Bengaluru airport

Traffic police said that the water level was at least four feet high, making it impossible for taxis and cars to navigate the stretch. At night, a bus broke down while crossing the stretch, resulting in the road getting blocked. The pile-up of traffic stretched for over a kilometre

May 18, 2022 11:39 am | Updated 05:13 pm IST - Bengaluru

The road (Ballari Road) leading to the airport was flooded following overnight rain in Bengaluru on May 17-18, 2022.

The road (Ballari Road) leading to the airport was flooded following overnight rain in Bengaluru on May 17-18, 2022. | Photo Credit: Suchith Kidiyoor

Flooding on the National Highway leading to Kemepegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru resulted in many air passengers missing their flights. A low-lying section of the national highway near the Indian Air Force base at Yelahanka was inundated following heavy overnight rain. Travellers heading to the airport got stuck on the highway (Ballari Road) and could not reach the KIA on time to board their flights.

Traffic police said that the water level was at least four feet high, making it impossible for taxis and cars to navigate the stretch. At night, a bus broke down while crossing the stretch, resulting in the road getting blocked. The pile-up of traffic stretched for over a kilometre.

Video | Rain in Bengaluru was cool till it became dangerous

Saurav Sharma, who was stuck in the traffic for close to an hour, said, “I went to drop my family members at the airport. I was stuck for close to an hour. The traffic was not moving at all. This is pathetic. Road users are getting a raw deal despite paying a hefty toll fee. It is very shameful on the part of the NHAI that they are unable to fix the water-logging problem and causing inconvenience to the public.”

Every day, thousands of passengers use the highway to reach the airport. 

Chandrashekar, another passenger said, “The traffic pile-up stretched from the flyover opposite BSF headquarters to the IAF base. It was really frustrating. Some taxi drivers took a left turn near BSF headquarters and used the service road to reach the other end of the road. They drive in the opposite direction (to the traffic) as their customers were getting late.”

Some passengers got down from the taxi and boarded Vayu Vajra services of the BMTC to reach the airport as smaller vehicles could not cross the flooded area.

People vented their ire on social media.

Biswajeet Rana said he missed his flight due to the flooding. He said a passenger travelling by train from Majestic to Chennai would reach his destination faster than a person heading to Bengaluru airport from home.

A police personnel manning traffic near the flooded area said, “I have not moved from here since May 17 night. Flooding is common here during rains, but the NHAI has not done anything to fix the problem. A bus broke down while crossing the flooded area. There is no service road near the IAF base, and all the vehicles have to take the main lane. This has resulted in a pile-up of vehicles.”

It was not just flyers who were at the receiving end. Students going to colleges also missed their classes due to the traffic jam. 

BIAL, who operate KIA, released an advisory stating that passengers heading to the airport might face slow-moving traffic due to water-logging and should plan their travel accordingly. For assistance, flyers can reach 080-22012001. 

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