Better public transport facility was the common demand of passengers at Chandigarh International Airport, as they found the private cabs quite expensive on the Day One of its operation. The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking officials have assured that four Corona buses will ply between bus stands at Sectors 17, 43 and the airport from Wednesday.
On Monday, the Chandigarh International Airport became functional with departure and arrival of about 20 domestic flights. On the opening day, the passengers had mixed reactions as some were impressed with the infrastructure, while others wanted more facilities.
At the airport, there are two counters for cabbies — one is of Mega Cabs, which provides inter-city transportation facilities at a rate of Rs 23 per kilometre. The other service provider is Carzorent. As far as the public transportation facility is concerned, only two CTU buses were on the job on the opening day.
“I am waiting here for the last one hour and have now called a cab from outside. I cannot afford the cab services provided at the airport, as these are very expensive. They are charging Rs 23 per km. Even Cabbies in Mumbai do not charge this much,” said Shankar Singh from Mumbai.
He added, “I have had the worst experience, as these cabbies are fleecing passengers. The strange part is that the rates have been approved by the Chandigarh administration.”
Comparing the new airport with the previous one, Paras Sharma from Mumbai said, “Earlier, the airport here barely looked like an airport. Now, it matches the an international standards. But it is still incomplete; there are no proper indicators or signages, no eateries outside the airport and I have not seen any public transport. They should provide more facilities.”
Anil Talwar, secretary, the State Transport Authority, said “On the opening day, two CTU buses were put on service and from Wednesday, we will provide four Corona buses for ferrying passengers and airport staff.”
“It will not be round-the-clock bus service, but we will make sure that maximum number of passengers are provided the public transport service. We have asked the flights schedule and timings of airport staff and will fix the timings accordingly,” he said.
Dharmveer Tethi from UK said, “On the first day of the airport’s operation, there was a technical glitch. The conveyor belts stopped working and passengers had to wait for more than 20 minutes.”
Talking more about his experience, he said, “The airport has been beautifully constructed and it is on par with the all other airports in India. Out of the three airports — Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi; Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, Amritsar; and Chandigarh International Airport — I would suggest all NRI friends to go for Chandigarh airport. And they should definitely start international flights soon.”
Roselyn Kaur, a city resident who is visiting her friend in Ahmedabad said, “The airport makes me feel proud. The roads connecting the airport are also well constructed and the view on the way is wonderful.”
Dr KS Verma from Solan added that the ambience of the airport is excellent. He said, “Though there is scope for improvement, but as the passengers increase, the authorities will enhance services as well.”
15 outgoing flights delayed
Fifteen out of 20 flights were delayed on the opening day. The departure of GoAir flight to Mumbai was delayed by 40 minutes, departure of Jet Airways and Jet Konnect to Delhi was delayed by 70 minutes. Similar was the status of many other flights. When asked, airport officials said there were slight delays because of traffic en-route.