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Broken tiles expose shoddy work at Rs 5,200-crore T2

The Rs 5,200-crore terminal, which started operations as recently as February 12, is already showing signs of wear and tear, with tiles coming undone at the arrival and departure sections. Red-faced officials say it is the result of hasty work.

The swanky Terminal 2 — better known as T2 — was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on January 10 and flight operations started a month later.

Also read: Expiry dates of old medicines fudged at Mumbai airport's Terminal 2

Quick fix: Repair work to replace the damaged tiles is underway at different parts of the international airport.
Quick fix: Repair work to replace the damaged tiles is underway at different parts of the international airport.

Less than 5 months later, T2 isn’t all that swanky any more. The Rs 5,200-crore terminal is already showing signs of wear. Tiles have been dislodged from the floor, exposing unseemly blotches underneath. With domestic operations slated to take off at T2 soon, the terminal’s sheen is likely to wear off even faster, as footfall increases.

Operations started at T2  as recently as February 12,  with Air India’s Singapore-Mumbai flight via Chennai the first to fly out of the brand new terminal. File Pic
Operations started at T2  as recently as February 12,  with Air India’s Singapore-Mumbai flight via Chennai the first to fly out of the brand new terminal. File Pic

Airport officials claim that the tiles broke because of bad plastering.

"It seems everything was done in haste, and the poor quality of the plastering has led to a major embarrassment for all of us. The tiles have given away, and patch-up work is in progress."

Eyesore: Tiles have been dislodged from the floor, exposing unseemly blotches of plaster underneath.
Eyesore: Tiles have been dislodged from the floor, exposing unseemly blotches of plaster underneath.

Repair work can be seen underway at several patches in the arrivals and departures sections of the international airport (T2). The international airport, one of the busiest in the world, has an annual passenger handling capacity of 32.2 million.

Operations started at T2 as recently as February 12, with Air India’s Singapore-Mumbai flight via Chennai the first to fly out of the brand new terminal. It is fitted with 1.85 million square feet of granite — enough to cover 27 football fields. The departure hall boasts of a 50-foot-tall glass cable-stayed wall, the longest in the world.

Nearly 30,000 square metres of skylight glass helps the building to achieve daylight autonomy for majority of the year. Four kilometres of LED lighting has been used to illuminate the multi-level car park (MLCP) that can accommodate 5,000 cars, making it the largest in the country.

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But, these grandiose exteriors seem to hide slapdash work that has been completed in haste.

A noted architect explained, requesting anonymity: “Public places should be designed aesthetically, keeping function in mind, and the fact that there will be wear and tear.” Another architect noted, “It is routine for an airport to have high footfall. It is possible that the tiles laid were done so improperly, in order to meet deadlines, and so they gave way.”

The other side
The spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL) said, “There are no issue with the tiles. Repair and cabling work is in process for various works. This repair work is just occupying a patch of the total area, and it has been ensured that no inconvenience is caused to passengers because of this work.”

Did you know?
T2 boasts of 60 emigration counters, 124 security check positions, 41 travellators, 47 escalators and 73 elevators to make for speedy boarding

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