Friday, March 20, 2009

VVIP fliers go hungry at BIA

VVIP fliers go hungry at BIA

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When formerprime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Telugu Desam chief Chandrababu Naidu checked in at the VVIP lounge at Bengaluru International Airport recently, all they received by way of refreshment was a glass of water. With the pantry closed, members of the leaders’ retinue had to rush to the coffee shop in the terminal to get them a bite to eat.
Caterers at the VVIP lounge in the international airport closed the pantry and shut shop 10 days ago after the department of public administration and reforms (DPAR) failed to clear dues of over Rs 8 lakh.

The dues have been pending since August 2008.

The catering company had entered an agreement with DPAR to serve state guests at the VVIP lounge, under which the expenses were met by BIA for the first two months.

Guests of the state government, chiefs of the armed forces and other VVIPs use the lounge as do other notables who are provided with Z-plus security. Around 40 VVIPs and 400 VIPs use the lounge every month.

The government has 24 employees working round the clock in shifts at the VVIP lounge but they now have no food to serve.

They now buy food from coffee shop in the terminal building and serve it on paper plates.

“We have written to the government and personally met DPAR officials for release of the dues, but nothing came of it. The last time we met the government officials concerned, they asked us to meet them after the elections,” said a representative of the catering company.

“We also cater at the VIP lounge in the airport where the monthly bills come to about Rs 70,000. The overheads at the VVIP lounge are Rs 1 lakh even though fewer people use it. We cannot spend any more till we are paid our dues,” the official added.

When contacted, DPAR secretary K.R. Srinivas said a meeting of the parties involved will be called shortly to resolve the issue.


At Friday, March 20, 2009 at 4:28:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From very reliable sources in the "know".

Apparently the payment was released from Vidhana Soudha but was held up at the Kumara Krupa Guest house as some officer(s) there did not get their "cut" for making the payment. The VVIP terminal operator went and complained to the State Government about the "demand" and all hell has broken loose.

It is good. Actually even better would be to close the VVIP terminal. Let these so-called VVIPs travel like a common passenger and experience what we all do.


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