The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has approved the Delhi Police's traffic plan for the G20 Summit that will entail reopening a carriageway at the arrival zone of IGI Airport Terminal 3 which was closed by the airport operator a few months ago.
The closure of the third carriageway, the farthest away from the terminal-3 building, triggered a tug of war between Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) and the police, which said the airport operator's action was "against the rules".
In view of the G20 Summit scheduled for September 9 and 10, the Delhi Police presented a traffic plan in a meeting with BCAS on Wednesday.
According to the traffic plan, the first and second carriageways will be dedicated to VIPs and VIP pass holders respectively and the third carriageway would receive verified commercial vehicles and private vehicles carrying physically challenged, disabled and elderly people, pregnant women and children.
Airport sources have confirmed that the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has approved the plan and asked the Delhi Police to finalise it.
Now, DIAL, which operates the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, has to come up with its response in the next few days.
The tug of war between DIAL and Delhi Police started a few months ago when the former closed the third carriageway and re-routed traffic through the multi-parking area.
According to DIAL, the decision to close the third carriageway was taken in consultation with Delhi Police (Traffic). However, the police contradicted it, raising security concerns and inconvenience caused to air passengers in a letter to BCAS.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport) Devesh Kumar Mahla declined to comment.
However, BCAS Director General Zulfiquar Hasan confirmed that he has received a communication from the Delhi Police on the issue and all the three stakeholders - DIAL, BCAS, Delhi Police - are working to find a solution.
"After receiving an input from Delhi Police in this regard, we all held a meeting in the BCAS office and we are working on it. We will have more meetings to finalise what should be done, Hasan told PTI.
However, he refused to comment on the bureau's approval to the Delhi Police's traffic plan.
Previously, the Delhi Police also wrote letters to DIAL alleging that the closure of the third carriageway was without any prior permission and against the rules.
"It has been found that the DIAL has obstructed the 3rd carriageway against the rules by erecting raised platforms, cemented structures and digging up a stretch of almost 150 metres without the mandatory approval of Delhi Traffic Police," the Traffic Inspector, IGI Traffic Circle, said in a letter to DIAL July 23.
"The closure of the 3rd carriageway is not advisable keeping in view the interest of security purpose and for convenience of the VVIPs movement during upcoming G20 summit," the letter read.
Prior to it, the DCP (Traffic), in a separate letter, had raised its serious objections to the closure of the road.
"It is worth mentioning that road network is the exclusive domain of traffic police and any construction/modification/alteration of carriageways without approval of traffic police is a violation of laid down rules and procedures, Aalap Patel, DCP, Traffic, New Delhi Range, said in his letter to DIAL on July 19.
Patel suggested to DIAL that ideally, the leftmost carriageway (the one closest to the terminal building) should be utilized for movement of VVIP/VIP/differently abled persons, and the middle and rightmost carriageways should be used for facilitating movement of private and commercial vehicles.
"In case of contingency, such as holiday rush, the rightmost carriageway (the 3rd one) could come in handy by regulating the movement of commercial vehicles and carving out extra carriageway," Patel said, adding, "Therefore in the interest of sustainable traffic management, the closure of the rightmost carriageway is not advisable and needs to be restored immediately."
Meanwhile, a DIAL official said that as an alternative to using the third carriageway, the airport operator had already implemented a special free buggy service to transport passengers with restricted mobility between the terminal and the multi-level car parking area.
"Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), since its inception, has been working towards travellers' safety and enhancing the passenger experience. We continue to work and review the arrangements in close coordination with all stakeholders to provide a safe and world-class experience to the passengers," a DIAL spokesperson said.
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