Flight operations from Terminal 2 get delayed
Several airlines had opposed the shifting plan by the GMR.
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