Friday, May 16, 2008

EC moved against BIA opening

EC moved against BIA opening
R K Misra Alleges Announcement Is Against Model Code Of Conduct
Anshul Dhamija | TNN

Bangalore: The controversies swirling around the opening of Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) just don’t seem to stop.
Concerned Bangaloreans, who feel that Bangalore needs two airports, not one, have now approached the Election Commission (EC) with a complaint against the Centre’s announcement on the fate of HAL airport.
Recently, governor Rameshwar Thakur withdrew the executive committee’s decision taken on April 30, allowing Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) to go ahead with the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project. This decision followed the EC directive to the government to stay the committee’s order until assembly elections in the state are completed.
In a written complaint to the EC, R K Misra, founder member of the Indian Council for Public Private Partnership and also the winner of The Times of India’s Lead India initiative stated, “Immediately prior to the first round of polls held on May 10, an announcement was made by the Centre that negotiations with BIAL are going on to keep the HAL airport open, with up to 80-seater planes being allowed to fly from HAL airport. This decision came as a big relief and created a positive opinion in the minds of voters towards the governing party.
“There was no sincere effort on the part of the government to keep HAL airport open but just a clever ploy to get public sympathy and public votes and clearly against the model code of conduct of the EC.”
Misra has also written, “The government’s devious ploy was conclusively exposed when just the day after the first phase of polling ended, the Centre announced its decision of closing HAL airport.”
According to well-informed sources, the case is quite strong as the state election commissioner M N Vidyashankar is believed to be taking up the issue with the Chief Election Commissioner. Vidyashankar was unavailable for comment.
Further, captains of the IT/BT industry, community leaders, and concerned citizens are holding a press conference on May 16, which will be followed by a public protest on May 17 evening at HAL airport.
BIAL is an under-capacity airport given current traffic and future growth Access to BIAL is far from satisfactory BIAL is a private monopoly and the public is at the mercy of a private operator


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