Bangalore: Visitors to Devanahalli Airport Left in Lurch


M Raghuram/The Hindu

  • Only passengers are provided with seating arrangements 

Bangalore, Jun 3: The much-hyped Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) at Devanahalli has no facilities to offer to the visitors. The foyer of the terminal building from where visitors see off their loved ones has no chairs.

This was the scene on Saturday when Union Minister for Finance P. Chidambaram was at the international airport to inaugurate an ATM of a nationalised bank. There were at least 200 people who had assembled there.

Mr. Chidambaram’s flight was delayed and he came 2 hours 15 minutes late to the venue.

All the people assembled there had to stand. When some people asked the bank officials why there were no seating arrangements, they said, “BIA officials did not give us permission.” The reason they gave was that only people who paid the user fee were provided with seating arrangements inside the lounge. Visitors are not clients of BIA. Only passengers will be provided with seating arrangements in the foyer of the terminus.

On the other side were people who were compelled to remain standing for long hours. When an elderly man among those who had assembled got tired and squatted on the floor, a security personnel rushed to the spot and made him stand again. When one of those accompanying the elderly man questioned the security personnel, he was told that it was a “no sitting zone”. If they wanted to sit they must take a visitors ticket to the arrival hall.

However, there are a series of concrete stumps next to the “taxi drop off zone” which is convenient for visitors to sit.

The scene resembled those “kattes” (casual sitting places) in rural bus stands some quarter century ago. With over 400 flight movements every day one can imagine the number of visitors to the terminal building. People feel that there should be at least a few rows of chairs put out in the foyer. HAL Airport had chairs for visitors.

The visitors’ toilet has been built far away from the main terminal building. Those who want to use the facility will have to cross the three lanes of taxi and bus terminals, climb a small mound of loose mud to reach it. If you want to have snacks at the snack bar at the BIA you will be in for a shock. Every item on the menu in the eateries at BIA is “exorbitantly expensive”. A packet of four cookies cost Rs. 25 and a cup of iced tea costs Rs. 40.

A combo meal consisting of a roll, a soft drink, a small portion of fries come at a cost of Rs. 140. All “chat” items are prized at Rs. 40 each. The concessionaires say that the rent was too high for them to survive without charging exorbitant rates.

Even the taxi fares are exorbitant.

A senior executive in one of the private companies in the city, S. Narendra, says he hired a taxi from BIA to Padmanabhanagar which made him poorer by Rs. 1,300 for a distance of about 50 km.

  

Comment on this article

  • simon lasrado, bangalore

    Thu, Jun 5 2008

    Long live Bengaluru International Airport!!! This airport is meant for big people,ministers,high techs but not for people like us who can not effort to pay lot,for the food in side the airport.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • patrick, mangalore

    Tue, Jun 3 2008

    Yes I agree with Sangeetha  Bhat one more thing Chidambaram must be the only Minister in the world who has the time to Inaugurate a ATM while this nation is facing so many crises regarding oil and food. What a fool he must be to have time for that the electorate of Karnataka has given a message to the Congress you cant get away by robbing Peter(Businessmen Industrialists) to pay for Peter(Agriculturist))

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • S. D' Souza, Udyavar, Udupi

    Tue, Jun 3 2008

    Jeez...Union Minister for Finance P. Chidambaram was at the international airport to inaugurate an ATM of a nationalised bank ! What next ? BSNL's new cellphone package ?

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Sangeethan Bhat, dubai

    Tue, Jun 3 2008

    Dear sirs/Madams, The problem of sitting in the visitors longue is not only in India. But also in Dubai. Dubai's Airport is one of the best airports of the world. Here also there are no seating arrangements for the visitors. But, people do understand the problem, becoz, otherwise it is very difficult for the authorities to maintain the cleanliness,security of the passangers and the convineance of the passanges. I feel, we should not make these small things a ISSUE. Becoz there are many other things in India which needs people's voice to solve such problems.

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