Flight oper­a­tions from Ter­mi­nal 2 get de­layed

Sev­eral air­lines had op­posed the shift­ing plan by the GMR.

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

Sched­uled to start from this month, flight oper­a­tions from Delhi Air­port’s newly ren­o­vated Ter­mi­nal 2 are un­likely to be­gin before mid-Novem­ber as sev­eral air­lines have op­posed the GMR’s plan to shift a part of the oper­a­tions of low cost air­lines fly­ing out of Delhi to Mum­bai, Kolkata and Ban­ga­lore, to the newly ren­o­vated Ter­mi­nal 2 in or­der to de­con­gest Ter­mi­nal 1-D which cur­rently han­dles all such air­lines and is op­er­at­ing be­yond its ca­pac­ity. GMR-DIAL (Delhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port Pri­vate Lim­ited) is the op­er­at­ing agency of the Indira Gandhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port (IGIA).

Air­lines such as In­diGo, SpiceJet and GoAir would be af­fected by such a de­ci­sion of the GMR and DIAL as they have been op­er­at­ing out of Ter­mi­nal 1-D in Delhi and have, thus, shown their re­sent­ment to­wards DIAL’s de­ci­sion.

In­diGo has termed DIAL’s de­ci­sion “un­work­able”, while other air­lines have also op­posed shift­ing part of their oper­a­tions to the new Ter­mi­nal 2.

In a let­ter to DIAL last month, In­diGo has called for a mu­tu­ally ac­cept­able so­lu­tion to re­solve the prob­lem.

“We once again re­it­er­ate that we are sup­port­ive of DIAL’s ini­tia­tive to un­der­take ex­pan­sion of Ter­mi­nal 1; how­ever, DIAL’s cur­rent pro­posal is un­work­able for us and, there­fore, we be­lieve that a mu­tu­ally ac­cept­able so­lu­tion needs to be found at the ear­li­est,” the let­ter sent by the bud­get car­rier to DIAL reads.

A se­nior SpiceJet staff told this cor­re­spon­dent that the de­ci­sion to shift part of the oper­a­tions from Ter­mi­nal 1-D to Ter­mi­nal 2 would cause a lot of con­fu­sion among both pas­sen­gers and the shift man­ager at the air­port.

“We un­der­stand that Ter­mi­nal 1-D is con­gested and it needs to be de­con­gested, but shift­ing part of the oper­a­tions is not a so­lu­tion as we will have to jug­gle our staff from one ter­mi­nal to the other, 7 km apart. Even pas­sen­gers will be in­con­ve­nienced as flights to se­lect des­ti­na­tions would be shifted to the new ter­mi­nal. We hope that an am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tion is ar­rived at,” the SpiceJet staff said.

Ter­mi­nal 1-D, which has a ca­pac­ity to han­dle 20 mil­lion pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally, had han­dled over 24 mil­lion pas­sen­gers last year—way be­yond its ca­pac­ity.

The ex­pan­sion plan for Ter­mi­nal 1-D en­vis­ages a new in­te­grated ter­mi­nal that can han­dle 40 mil­lion pas­sen­gers per an­num. How­ever, a DIAL spokesper­son told The Sun­day Guardian, “We are in talks with all the air­lines and are soon go­ing to come out with an am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tion to end the im­passe.” Two per­sons died and 105 were in­jured in this year’s Bunni fes­tiv­i­ties in Kurnool dis­trict of Andhra Pradesh on the night of Dussehra on 30 Septem­ber, re­mind­ing how this “blood spilling sport” goes on unchecked with all po­lit­i­cal par­ties and caste groups firmly sup­port­ing this re­li­gious fes­tiv­ity.

Bunni or a blood­sport, played on the night of Dussehra, in­volves thou­sands of men from around 15 nearby vil­lages in­dulging in ri­ot­ing with sticks fit­ted with iron knives and rings at the open fields in De­vara­gattu. As the stick fight gets in­tense, dozens of ine­bri­ated men join the ri­ot­ing and throw burn­ing torches in the air, caus­ing se­vere burn in­juries to many.

Dur­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties, peo­ple fight with each other to re­tain the idols of Lord Mal­likhar­juna, a lo­cal de­ity of Shiva. The brass idols of Lord Mal­likhar­juna and his con­sort, Par­vati, are kept in a tem­ple at Ner­naiki vil­lage near De­vara­gattu, and af­ter per­form­ing the Dussehra puja at around 7 pm, vil­lagers fight to take them to their vil­lage. Sev­eral bor­der vil­lages in Kar­nataka and Andhra Pradesh have stopped this stick fight since the 1950s due to con­stant pres­sure from the cops and ad­vo­cacy by hu­man rights groups.

This time, around 1,000 cops in­clud­ing 20 sub-in­spec­tors, five in­spec­tors and three DSPs were de­ployed and six med­i­cal teams with equal num­ber of am­bu­lances were kept ready since Sun­day morn­ing at De­vara­gattu. Kurnool SP, Jetty Gopinath said that the po­lice had made every ef­fort to see that there was no blood­shed or death, but couldn’t prevent two deaths as peo­ple were adamant: “Every­one knows that the fight is dan­ger­ous but they want to con­tinue with the rit­ual.” TRS president and Te­lan­gana Chief Min­is­ter K. Chan­drasekhar Rao (KCR) has ruled out his daugh­ter and Nizam­abad MP, K. Kavitha be­com­ing a min­is­ter in the BJP-led gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre, but in­di­cated that he is open minded about join­ing the rul­ing NDA coali­tion in the future. “I can­not say what will hap­pen in future,” he said when asked about his daugh­ter’s po­lit­i­cal prospects at the Cen­tre.

The Chief Min­is­ter, who ad­dressed a gath­er­ing to cel­e­brate the vic­tory of TRS af­fil­i­ated coal min­ers’ union—Te­lan­gana Boggu Gani Karmika Sang­ham (TBGKS)—in the Thurs­day elec­tions to de­cide the of­fi­cial recog­nised union sta­tus, said that Kavitha richly de­served credit for the win and he

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