Woes of Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

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Woes of Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport

Bhaskar Dev Konwar | April 23, 2018 11:31 hrs


Anybody visiting Assam or arriving through Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport is bound to have a disappointing experience at the overall ambience and poor facilities at the airport.

The Advantage Assam programme gave a temporary cosmetic facelift to the airport. The long queues at the entry point of the airport, in front of the X-Ray machines, the check-in counters and the serpentine security check queues are the other disappointing tales for the passengers flying out.

On 16th April last, after landing into LGBI airport from Bengaluru, the marked difference in facilities of both the airports was clearly visible to me. Bengaluru is of an international standard; LGBI offered a very disappointing ambience.

Usually, a vehicle dropping off a passenger is given 5 minutes to exit and in such a case no parking fee is payable. Recently, the parking booths at the entry and exit points have been placed in such a manner that on most occasions, it becomes impossible for the driver to exit within 5 minutes mainly due to the unorganised parking and long line of exiting vehicles leading to the exit booth.

One fails to understand whether the facilities provided in the parking lot to the vehicles justify the exorbitant charge of sixty rupees from each vehicle as parking fees. There are neither any attendants to facilitate organised parking nor is there adequate security cover provided to the vehicles. Deliberately, the lessee of the parking lot through his attendants at the exit pay booth delays collection of the parking amount so that the free time limit of 5 minutes is over. It is a common sight for the occupants of a vehicle falling into verbal arguments with the fee collection agents with regard to payment of parking fees, causing unnecessary harassment to the vehicles that are behind in the queue.

Any vehicle which left the airport on the afternoon of 16th April last had to wait for minimum 30/45 minutes at the exit booth of the airport due to the sheer inefficiency of the attendants at the exit booth in collecting the parking fees, for which long queues of vehicles formed at the exit point which stretched back right to the drop-off point of the airport.

On asking my taxi driver, he disclosed that this is a common scenario at the airport these days. This sort of unorganised system and the officials’ apathetic attitude are a disgrace to our state and hinder its development right at its gateway.

Moreover, there is no official monitoring of such an inefficient and unethical system of collection of parking fees.

If this is the welcome one receives at the LGBI Airport, Guwahati, the first impression itself is disappointing and portrays a negative image of Advantage Assam.

The lessee of the parking lot needs to be immediately penalised and the contract with him needs to be terminated. There is absolutely no justification on the part of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to collect such an exorbitant amount of parking fee from the vehicles through its agents without providing even the basic facilities in the parking area. The need of the hour is to ban such collection of parking fees at the LGBI Airport, Guwahati.

 

(The writer, Bhaskar Dev Konwar expresses his frustration with the condition of the premier airport of the northeast. The photographs have been clicked by him.)

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  • Tourajborhanifarengelish

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