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India: nolmalcy restored at airports; cleaning operations on


New Delhi : Cleaning operations were on in full swing at airports across the country today after the nationwide agitation by airport employees was called off.

Flight operations were normal at the four metropolitan airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, Airport Authority of India sources said.

Heaps of garbage that had collected during the two-day strike and dirty toilets were being cleaned up on a top priority basis to restore passenger amenities.

A report from Kolkata said that employees, supported by volunteers of the AAI union, had engaged in overnight cleaning operations and ensure that trolleys and water supply were made available to passengers.

Though flight operations were not affected by the two-day ‘non-cooperation movement’ called by Airports Authority Employees Joint Forum, it had its impact on sanitation, ground handling and other facilities at several airports across the country.

The sources said that employees’ attendance was normal at the various airport terminals.

The decision to call off the agitation was taken after the employees’ representatives, accompanied by CPI(M) and CITU leaders M K Pandhe, Tapan Sen and Dipankar Mukherjee, had an almost hour-long meeting with Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel last night.

After Patel’s assurances, the Forum leaders met separately and decided to withdraw their agitation.

The employees, protesting the government’s decision to close existing airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad on completion of the new ones, were assured by Patel that modernisation of 35 non-metro airports would be undertaken with “full involvement” of the AAI and its employees.