Vehicle users face tough time at Mangalore airport
MANGALORE: Are you planning to drop a passenger to the Mangalore International Airport’s departure terminal and exit within five minutes to save Rs 40 parking charges?
Probability is that you may not make it. Thanks to Airport Authority of India’s decision to run parking operations with sparse staff in the absence of a regular contractor, its chaos at the airport – at both the departure and arrival terminal ends.
The major problem is due to airport terminal operations personnel blocking the through-way on the ramp to the exit – by placing a barricade near the departure side. The barricade is also on arrival side which is used by taxis. Of the available four lanes, two on either side is perennially occupied by parked vehicles; though parking is prohibited. In the absence of a traffic management staff – the middle two lanes is free for all which creates blocks and those want to exit within five minutes don’t make it and cough up the Rs 40 parking charges.
Uday Khandeparkar, sponsor of real estate focused private equity fund, who experienced the problem on May 1 said: “I confronted the Terminal superintendent Hameed about this problem. He said things would be set right within a week.”
Almost two weeks later – on Wednesday Hameed told TOI: “The situation will be set right within two months as the car parking tenders have been opened today.”
Regarding the reason why the through-way was barricaded, Hameed said: Vehicles users, especially from outside the state, lack civic sense and discipline. Even now, people park cars where there are not supposed to. We have deployed the seven ex-servicemen, who were manning traffic here when the contract was operational, at the ticket counters.
Airport director JT Radhakrishna said: “The situation is much better now and will be smooth in two months when the contract is awarded. We always give two extra minutes for vehicles, apart from regular five minutes, to depart without payment.”
Nagesh at the ticket counter says: We are not bothered about what happens at the terminal. We have been asked by the commercial department to charge if the time exceeds five minutes. In case there is a long queue at the booth, we may give an extra minute.