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Passengers in a tizzy as Srinagar airport shuts down

September 03, 2010 16:34 IST

The Srinagar international airport was closed on Friday for air traffic, which has been diverted to an Indian Air Force base in south Kashmir's Awantipore in Pulwma district.

The airport will remain closed till September 12.

A senior state government official said the airport had to be closed because of impending repairs on the runway to be carried out by the Indian Air Force.

The closure has caused huge inconvenience to air passengers leaving and coming into the Valley.

The Jammu and Kashmir government had requested the defence ministry not to close down the airport for nearly a fortnight in view of the holy Muslim festival of Eid next week.

The requested was, however, declined as it was said that the repairs had to be carried out much before the temperature fell down further in the Valley as autumn season has already started here.

Most of the airlines, including the national carrier Air India, have already cancelled their flights to Srinagar and would only operate on selected dates to and from the Awantipore air base.

The passengers have been asked to report at the Srinagar international airport where security checks would be carried out and later they would be taken in a security bus with closed doors to the Awantipore air base, 25 kms from Srinagar where another security check would be undertaken. 

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar