The Airport Authority of India says that BIAL airport is already saturated and so does the experience of hundreds of passengers, a few of whom get this platform to air their grievances. Harish Bhat, COO of Titan Industries, has a very interesting take on the Bengaluru airport's toilets. Among other grievances he mentions important factors like travel-to-airport time, space, functionality, aesthetics, etc.. which press releases always ignore.
Strangely the wikipedia page on BIAL has only glowing reports and nothing negative about the company in the wikipage. It has no links to the negative press reports at all. Checking the wiki page history shows edits by just IP's and not a registered user. I wonder why???? Is this their spin doctor (PR agency : Macromedia Research And Development Private Ltd ???) at work again using fake mail-ID's to leave anonymous comments on my earlier blog entry.
In one interview to the press, Mr.Brunner, the CEO, openly states that they are looking to commercialise the 4000 acres of land given by the Indian government. So did the government give BIAL 4000 acres of land to make profits at the expense of the Indian taxpayer? He blames everyone else (ground handlers SATS, to the taxi service, other agencies, etc..) for all of BIAL's problems except perhaps their shoddy planning. According to the CEO, "Peak-hour capacity (is what matters)" - Does that mean local airlines should fly during non-peak hours (ala 24/7), Mr.CEO?. How many Indians want to travel to Delhi, a domestic flight a 02:00 AM?
Would Mr. Brunner be able to construct an apology of an airport like BIAL in Europe and call it International?
Worse, they are now pressuring the government to allow them to charge an additional User Development Fee of Rs.675 (plus 12.36% service tax) per passenger who uses the BIAL airport. Gee, 770 bucks for an airport that does not even have adequate restrooms, charges 400 rupees per HOUR for parking charges, and has snacks bars where the average cost of a patties or pastry is between Rs.50-85 bucks. The socialist and communist political parties might tag "flying" as a luxury (its a another matter that the political class of socialist and communists jet around the country but....shh, pretend you didnt notice that) meant only for the rich, but its not. Its just yet another option of faster travel in this global age.
Since the Karnataka government found Bial airport is not up to the mark, it can restrict BIAL to only International flights and reopen the old HAL airport for domestic routes. THAT would make better business sense for domestic travellers. Even Infosys is not happy with Bial, and yet the high court stayed the August 18 order by a full Bench of the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC), which had declared BIAL as a public authority covered by the RTI Act, 2005.
If infrastructure projects meant for the public, using public tax payers money are not accountable and will not come under the Right to Information Act, the best recourse is to stop the privatization of public infrastructure projects, thereby keeping the government accountable under the RTI Act.
Indian cities dont need basic infrastructure like airports, railways and bus stations which are a few hundred kilometers outside the city limits. THAT is NOT smart city planning at all !! As citizens we need to stop absorbing accepting lies and sugar-coated words about infrastructure projects gone wrong - it is the tax-payers money, hence our money, that is being wasted by corrupt private companies, hence inexcusable!