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Passengers leave for a quarantine centre as they check-out from the Kempegowda International Airport, in Bengaluru, Monday. (PTI)
Passengers leave for a quarantine centre as they check-out from the Kempegowda International Airport, in Bengaluru, Monday. (PTI)

Eventful day at Bengaluru airport as domestic flights resume operations

  • Flight operations were scheduled to commence at 12.40 am but confusion and cancellation made the wait longer for security and other personnel at the airport
  • Several passengers tried to dodge authorities to escape institutional quarantine but with little success

BENGALURU : A woman, in her mid-30s, walked near the arrival lounge of the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on Monday. Security and health officials were busy screening passengers and finishing formalities to send them to institutional quarantine facilities for at least seven days.

Sensing an opportunity, the woman had slipped out of the arrival gate, walked at least 200 meters till the departures entry and almost on her way to the parking lot in the hope to be free from being sent to institutional quarantine.

“Security personnel ran after her and brought her back," said a person aware of the development, requesting not to be named.

Several others tried to dodge authorities to escape institutional quarantine but with little success.

Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), that resumed operations two months after the lockdown due to covid-19 forced grounding of all flight operations, witnessed an eventful day on Monday.

The resumption of domestic flight operations is part of the centre’s plans to gradually lift lockdown restrictions and allow for movement of people, restarting of businesses to help kickstart the economy. But the drama playing with each arrival and departure added to the excitement at the airport which is otherwise considered a rather humdrum experience.

Vivant Sharma, a 5-year old boy who was stuck in Delhi and travelled alone to Bengaluru, gained instant attention on social media.

Flight operations were scheduled to commence at 12.40 am but confusion and cancellation made the wait longer for security and other personnel at the airport.

The first flight didn’t depart till 05.15 am and the first arrival was at 7.35 from Chennai.

A total of 43 departures and 31 arrivals were recorded in KIA till 5 pm on Monday .

At least 74 flights were cancelled on Monday, according to airport authorities.

The media went into a frenzy when union union minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers minister D.V.Sadananda Gowda, who arrived from Delhi, was allowed to leave for home without being sent to institutional quarantine as mandated by the Karnataka government.

“According to SOP (standard operating procedures), people associated with pharma are exempted because we are providing medicines not just for the country but the entire world," Gowda, said.

“I, being the head of pharma (ministry) , automatically I am exempted," he added.

With new rules in place, security and airport personnel are now worried if this will become a daily routine. And it’s just day one.

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