Staff shortage forces immigration counters to remain closed

After the lockdown restrictions were eased completely, the footfall in the Chennai airport increased. It witnessed an increase in the arrival of international passengers.
Representative Image
Representative Image

CHENNAI: International passengers are in a fix at the Chennai airport since most of the immigration counters are closed due to a shortage of staff.

After the lockdown restrictions were eased completely, the footfall in the Chennai airport increased. It witnessed an increase in the arrival of international passengers. Airport sources said around 42 international flights arrive at the Chennai airport in a day and among them, 31 flights would arrive from midnight to early morning. There were 56 immigration counters in the international terminal, and they were split into 22 for departure and 34 for arrival.

Sunil, a passenger, said that most of the counters are not operated and they remain closed all the time. At night since most of the international flights are arriving and departing from Chennai, passengers are forced to wait for a long time to clear immigration. The passengers who are landing from foreign countries said that it takes more than two hours for them to clear the immigration checks and come to the exit gate of the airport.

The passengers also said that the air conditioners at the immigration area is not in working condition and they feel suffocated, and some fell unconscious.

The official sources of the Chennai airport said the department comes under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs and they have informed the higher officials regarding the shortage of immigration staff and hoped that more than 45 immigration staff would be posted at the Chennai airport. After that, all the counters would start functioning and the passengers can get immigration clearance faster.

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