Thursday, December 24, 2009

BIAL report: industry bodies divided

BIAL report: industry bodies divided

Special Correspondent
One calls it ‘good’, the other ‘not in good taste’

Conflicting: President of the FKCCI J. Crasta (left) and President of the BCIC K.R. Girish
Bangalore: The reactions of representative bodies of industry to the report of the Joint House Committee on Bangalore International Airport Ltd. are divided. While J. Crasta, president, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), termed the report “good, for having pointed to several inadequacies at BIAL”, the president, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), K.R. Girish, said the report was “not in good taste because it publicly condemned industry stalwarts, bureaucrats and industrial entities”.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Crasta said the committee’s observations about the inadequacies are “factually correct, highlighting the many problems that ordinary air travellers face at Bangalore International Airport (BIA). The contrast in quality of services between this airport and the new one at Hyderabad, which was built around the same time, is obvious to people who have seen both airports,” he added. “The toilet facilities at the BIA are even worse than what is available at Kalasipalya bus stand,” he added.

Referring to the investments made in the project by the Karnataka Government, Mr. Crasta said it should “not be unduly worried about this”, since its investments have resulted in “long-term gains in terms of infrastructure development”. However, he said, “Vested interests have taken command, resulting in the land not being properly utilised.”

Mr. Girish, on the other hand, said private investors would be unwilling to invest in infrastructure projects if they did not get adequate returns, which “are fraught with commercial risks and long gestation periods”. He said the report would damage the State’s reputation at a time when it is preparing to host the Global Investors’ Meet in June 2010.

Mr. Girish said the Union Government should constitute a high-powered technical committee to study the report to determine whether the promoters of this project failed to adhere to the prescribed norms.


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