BY AHMAD AYAZ
The Srinagar Airport is proudly termed as an ‘INTERNATIONAL’ Airport, simply due to its flights to some international destinations. But is that all it takes to earn that title? Does the Sheikh ul Alam Airport measure up the standards that are expected from an international airport?
Having been handling almost 90 flights a day in peak season, from a single integrated terminal of just 25000 sq m., the Srinagar airport is no more or less than a hyperbusy bus station!
Kashmir being a tourist destination & owing to poor visibility during winters, flights at Srinagar Airport get delayed or canceled, with no proper information to the passengers, who are then made to wait at the airport for hours together, with no seating arrangements in place!
The most impacted are the elderly people and medical patients, who continue standing as they incessantly wait for some news about their flight.
Besides, it may not be the only Airport in the world, facing poor visibility issues & huge inconvenience to passengers, but let’s not conveniently assume that there’s any other Airport which is subjected to such a mess and lack attention from the Authorities.
This being an Airport at India’s most prominent tourist destination, should have received top most attention and been equipped with modern technology to overcome visibility issues and facilities for passenger convenience in situations of weather induced delays.
Inside the airport building too, there’s always a mess, with an acute shortage of trolleys, not easily available for the convenience of incoming & outgoing passengers! You will find more porters than passengers, standing around everywhere at the Airport holding trolleys, making trolley access possible only if a passenger hires a porter!
Such overtly visible corruption doesn’t happen at any other Airport! These porters appear to be volunteers and approach you as if they are from the Airport to assist you, but will finally charge you with no rates fixed for a trolley service, which you can most easily manage by your self, if trolleys are conveniently available.
Besides, there is nothing that makes Srinagar Airport special, as far as facilities are concerned, one need to pay to everything. When you come out of the Airport, a transport company has placed cabs of their choice like Innovas, available in the queue on number.
There are no small or a cheaper cabs available for a single pax or 2 passengers, you will have to necessarily take the cab which is in the queue on number & pay the same rate which 5-6 people together would have to pay for a bigger cab, for a particular distance as decided by some unregistered official sitting in the office with these transporters. You are left with no choice but to take a big cab & pay more!
(The Author is a Prominent National TV debater and Social Activist.. The ideas expressed are his own
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.