Kochi airport resumes operations after 14 days

The Cochin International Airport, among the busiest in the country, suffered an estimated loss between Rs 220-250 crore after it was closed on August 15. PTI File photo

The Kochi international airport resumed operations on Wednesday, two weeks after flooding in its runway and other areas led to a shutdown.

The operations resumed with the arrival of Indigo flight 6E667 from Ahmedabad at 2.08 pm.

The airport was closed on August 15 amid floods that devastated many parts of the state. The overflowing river Periyar had caused the flooding at the airport. It was originally scheduled for a reopening on August 26 but Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) in an August 22 update extended it by three days after stakeholders including ground-handling agencies expressed concern over mobilising manpower. 

About 34 arrivals and 35 departures were listed on schedule at the airport for Wednesday. CIAL is reported to have suffered a loss of about Rs 220 crore due to the closure.

About 1,000 people were involved in the restoration works from August 20, covering 800 runway lights, generators, the damaged solar power system and a 2.5-km stretch of walls.

Schools reopen

Schools across the state reopened on Wednesday after Onam holidays which were rescheduled in the wake of the floods. Many relief camps functioning in schools are set to remain open through the weekend.

As rehabilitation efforts entered the final phases, cleaning of houses and public buildings in flooded areas continued in many areas. Counselling sessions for people in affected areas were on. According to official figures released early on Wednesday, 422 relief camps are open in the state — 211 of them in Alappuzha district — housing over 1.04 lakh people. The updated death toll since August 8 is 328.

In Thiruvananthapuram, the state government organised a function to honour fishermen who played a crucial part in the rescue operations. 

At a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the government firmed up plans to rebuild facilities in Pampa damaged in the flood. 

Contributions continued to pour into the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. Till Monday, donations to the fund had touched Rs 723.38 crore.

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