Airport or Loot-Port?
We The Srinagarites
DO they fleece customers to make them lighter for flight? Asks BA Bashir
Believe it or not but one small piece of land in world famed Kashmir enjoys immunity of being away from the application of laws against hoarding and profiteering. And that great place is Srinagar International Airport.
Though the airport is not even of National standards not to talk of being International in the sense its flights operating only to New Delhi and Mumbai, unlike airports from where flights of varied destinations including domestic and international operate. Yet the name alone is sufficient for Kashmiris to be satisfied with, like a candy in their mouth, which New Delhi dispensation has been doing in many respects towards the Kashmiris. Hence nothing to be surprised about: Rehnay koo ghar nahi par sara Jahan Hamara.
Well coming back from Jahan, the world, to Srinagar International Airport, where certain gazebos, coffee shops, and other stalls are seemingly looting the passengers with impunity as if there is no law applicable to them so far as the prices of the commodities sold there are concerned.
Any dealer who indulges in illegal profiteering has to face five years imprisonment. Simply put one who charges any amount beyond the printed Maximum Retail Price has to be prosecuted. But to my personal knowledge the Srinagar International Airport enjoys impunity on this front and reasons are better known to those at the helm of affairs.
A potato chips pack, which in open markets costs Rs 10 is sold for Rs 20. A sandwich which costs Rs 25 at big bakery shops comes at a price tag of Rs 75. All prices go the same way: Either double or more than the market rates.
Ask shopkeepers why they overprice products the only instant reply which comes is: This is Airport Sir! As if Airport is not on Earth but Mars where any price index ceases to exist.
The irony is that this all happens right under the nose of Law enforcement agencies like police etc but no one is bothered to take any cognizance. Is it by connivance or by ignorance of Law that passengers are to be looted? Air travel has not remained confined to the affluent class only who might not bother for high prices but nowadays even middle class people travel by Air who will certainly not like this fleecing. Given the fact that Kashmir is a tourist place, we have to be extra cautious in every respect that visitors don’t leave with a bad impression, which our rivals in the trade might cash.
Accepted that earning reasonable profit in any business is right for every businessman but what happens at Airport is nothing short of Loot in the name of Airport better be called as LOOT PORT.
It reminds me of an anecdote. The other day, I was waiting to board a flight and while discussing this matter of overpricing at the Airport with a friend of mine, he all of a sudden plugged his nostrils for a while. Asked why did he did so and reply came with laughingstock: Sir, I was about to sneeze but tried my best to hold it back because may be Sneezing too may be taxed here.
While I could not resist from bursting to laughter but at the same time it was a serious point for taking note of as to why these glaring illegalities are going on without any notice. Does it happen at every Airport of the country? If yes why and in case here only, then why can’t it be checked lest the name is changed from Airport to Loot port!
(The author is a Senior Advocate. He can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ideas expressed are author’s own)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 20 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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