Friday, December 18, 2009

BIAL weighed, measured and found wanting

BIAL weighed, measured and found wanting



Hemanth C SFirst Published : 16 Dec 2009 03:53:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 16 Dec 2009 08:27:37 AM IST
BANGALORE: Domestic passengers who use the Bengaluru International Airport (BIAL) have reasons to cheer. The 20-member Karnataka Legislature Joint House Committee— probing into alleged lapses in the construction of the airport— has put its foot down on BIAL’s longpending demand before the Ministry of Civil Aviation to revise the present ad hoc UDF of Rs 260 passenger.
The committee has also come down heavily on the quality of services the international airport offers.
“The facilities offered by BIAL are far below international standards and the UDF of Rs 260 is a burden on the passengers. By seeking a revision, BIAL is indulging in day-light robbery.’’ ‘‘They are generating a lot of revenue by levying landing charges and by displaying advertisements. Besides, during the construction phase they were given a lot of exemptions,” a member of the committee told Express.
The House Committee’s thumbs down to facilities offered at the airport is already a known fact as members have let known their feelings before too. However, this time it may have serious repurcussions as the Committee is against the airport expansion plans.
BIAL has expressed interest in expanding the ter minal building, if the passenger traffic increases.
“Let them first improve the existing facilities at the terminal and then go in for expansion,” added the member.
The only positive to emerge for BIAL from the House Committee’s side is that the final report will not be tabled in the ongoing winter session of the legislature, when it re-assembles on December 21. “It is unlikely that the final report will be submitted. BIAL should ensure that facilities are improved before the report is out,” the member said.

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