Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Giving air passengers a breath of fresh air

Mumbai airport will use its plants, spread across 76,000 square metre of green landscape, to bring tranquillity and calmness amid the COVID-19 pandemic to air passengers, once operations resume.
The GVK-operated Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) on Tuesday said it is leaving no stone unturned to nurture, maintain, and enhance the area sprawling across 19 acres, which is the most extensive airport garden in India.
“CSMIA understands that anxious travellers will benefit and rejuvenate from the green environment at the airport and is thus working relentlessly with a curtailed workforce to maintain the greenery. This will help boost positivity, improve the overall well-being, and bring a breath of fresh air to comfort passengers, once operations resume,” a Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson said.

MIAL said its maintenance staff adhere to the safety norms directed by the government to maintain the green belts, which will not only soothe passengers but make the airport a safe and hygienic passage to transit.

“The airport’s incorporation of the indoor garden has always helped weary passengers reduce stress and boost positivity. The bold, vibrant colours, and fragrant shrubs will delight and help soothe anxious passengers during this unprecedented time,” the spokesperson said.

CSMIA has an automated pressurised irrigation system that covers 80% of the total garden, which has come in handy to ensure smooth functioning.

“Since the beginning, the airport has always undertaken and implemented measures to maintain a safe and hygienic passage for passengers to travel and will continue to do so to assist passengers with high-quality standards even after the outbreak of the pandemic subsides,” the spokesperson said.

Of the 80 gardeners who used to work on a typical day, a team of minimal landscape gardeners, horticulturists, and irrigation engineers from CSMIA have been deployed to water, repair and nurture the lush greenery all while maintaining physical distancing and following SOPs in place at the airport. The gardeners, irrigation technicians, and other maintenance staff work for approximately five to six hours daily and travel from nearby areas of the airport.
20/05/20 Aditya Anand/The Hindu
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