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Perception,Reality and Promises: A post-mortem of B’lore International Airport

June 3, 2008



Myopia. Sheer myopia.
Less than a fortnight before Bangalore International Airport, even took off in the grand manner envisioned by the powers-to-be, it has found itself in the midst of government and myopic snafu.
For those not in the loop, as my bro says ,lets start from the start.

Located at Devanahalli, 60 kilometeres from the city, it is an airport with seemingly the most modern architecture and a statement of comfort and wonderment for the air travellers. With eight aerobridges, nine remote bays, 53 check in counters and a royale parking space for 2000 cars, BIAL project was supposed to be anything but a bone of contention.

But the latest in the line of myopic and lethargic government policies, is this: BIAL has been given around 100 AC Volvo Coaches for 12.5million passengers landing per year. Factor in the ground manning staff, auxillary airport staffs and flight attendants, the total heads being carried everyday works out in the vicinity of 34,500.
34K+ !
Oh yes, 34K+ and you are not even looking at the mouth of the rabbit hole. It is bound to grow by 30% per year. And you know what? In the four lane streets of Bangalore, I can’t even imagine 100 Volvos plying daily to carry around 34k+ passengers.
What was the government thinking?
Was it just wishing the problem away?
And to speak that not even another commute has been arranged to shorted this trip to BIAL.

So if I am working in Electronic City(thank god I am not!), I have to spend roughly around two hours on the road(if I am lucky!), one hour in the airport for a flight of 1 hour to another part of the country.
Something like when I was in college, one of my friends had to take a bus to cover 125 kilometers of journey from his home to the nearest bus stop from the college and an auto to the campus. The bus charged Rs 30 and the auto charged Rs40. 🙂

Pouncing straight on this, is Citizen Connect. An NGO and a public initiative to bring back the old Bangalore Airport working in HAL in operation. Well, its a complex thing, especially that HAL airport is on its last leg and famous for its rickety infrastructure, wonder though if it can handle even 30% of the daily traffic for the coming five years.

And yeah, government in a superb myopic decision has let Siemens Ventures and Unique Zurich Airport GmBH the monopoly rights over Bangalore’s air traffic industry. Now I don’t know whats worse, bringing back the HAL airport into operation or asking people to continue their three hour wait on the road for a one and half hour flight to another city.

Even more myopic is, there is no effective and fast public transport which can solve this huge quagmire of a bottleneck.

So, what next?
If I would have been Yeddyurappa.. then the metro connecting this stretch of 30 kilometers(from the outskirts) to BIAL would have been the prority. And priority with Red Alert 1.

HAL Airport should be opened in a limited basis and with added expenditure to ramp it up. But again, its like a Band Aid on a bleeding limb.

When, such multi scale project is being taken in, appropriate prediction and expectation analysis should be done (which Citizen Connect also claims was not done properly), and in the process when things are tweaked, let neutral observers bring in to the table the vision which our governments so effectively leave out of the equation.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2008 7:09 pm

    so true…b’lore is going to see lots of problems because of this sheer lack of insight….

  2. Soham Das permalink*
    June 3, 2008 7:32 pm

    Exactly thats the point… Sheer lack of insight… I had been to Bangalore last week, and I saw the dstance with my own eyes… Its huge, and its disastrous…

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