Saturday, October 25, 2008

Airport panel drops foreign jaunt plan

Airport panel drops foreign jaunt plan

Express News Service
First Published : 25 Oct 2008 07:37:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 25 Oct 2008 12:01:40 PM IST

BANGALORE: The Joint House Committee set up to probe the alleged lapses in the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), has dropped its earlier idea of visiting airports abroad and instead will pay its much delayed visit to the airport in Devanahalli on October 31.

The 20-member House committee, headed by Chickpet MLA Hemachandra Sagar, which has three months to submit its report on alleged lapses in the BIA, has so far had just two committee meetings and in one of the two meetings, a few members had evinced interest in visiting some of the best airports abroad to study the facilities before submitting its report before the House on the facilities at the BIA.

However, this proposal has been reportedly shot down due to time and cost factors. This apart, the visit to airports abroad would also mean that the legislators would be on a junket at a time when there is an economic slump and when the government is preaching austerity, said sources.

Instead, the members have now been asked to obtain data on the flight movement, passenger capacity and other facilities at the airports abroad to make a comparative study before the report is submitted.

Meanwhile, the committee, which has three months to submit its report, will also be examining if Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the promoters of the airport, have fully utilised the 4,000 acres of land allotted to it, why the airport project cost shot up from Rs 1,350 crore to Rs 2,700 crore, apart from probing the alleged violation of terms and conditions by BIAL during the airport’s construction.

The committee, constituted on September 18, will also look at the facilities at the airport, absence of VIP lounge, outsourcing of the taxi services to private operators and permission for construction of second terminal at the airport. It will also make recommendations on how to give a facelift to the airport on the lines of other international airports.


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