Promises have not yet turned into action on Mangalore Flight Crash issue

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Mangalore, May 21: Most horrifying tragedy ever witnessed by Mangalore came about on May 22, 2010. An Air India Express flight crash-landed at Kenjar near Mangalore International Airport, which caused death of 158 passengers.

On May 22, 2014, it will be exactly four years since the occurrence of this tragedy. In this period of four years, the various assurances given by the State and Central Governments to the bereaved families and to those injured remain still an assurance.

Air India Chief Executive Officer S Chandrakumar had assured construction of a community hall, a health centre and a library at the tragedy site, Govt. had promised runway expansion projects. All these promises have still remained a vision. Many of the bereaved families are also not happy with the compensation offered to them for the irreparable losses suffered by them.

It is learnt that about 25 days ago, the Malavoor Gram Panchayat Development Officer had received a telephone call from the Air India Office in Delhi stating that Air India had plans to offer Rs 20 lakhs to Rs 25 lakhs for the construction of community hall and health centre and also asking to identify land for the purpose. However, so far there is no written communication in this regard.

A marble plaque carrying the name of the deceased was put up at the crash site even before completion of one year of the tragedy, but it was destroyed by some miscreants. Besides, the plaque was installed in a private land and without the permission of the owner. Though the panchayat had been directed to purchase the land for the construction of a memorial, no action has been taken.

Soon after the tragedy, the then Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had announced the extension of the runway from the existing 8000 feet to 9000 feet. But till date, there has been no action regarding this and moreover the state government has not shown any interest in this regards.

It can be asserted that, the failure of the authorities to extend the runway is one reason for many airlines to avoid operating flights from Mangalore.

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