The Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL), the venture running the operations at the airport, told the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday that, for now, the facilities of Wi-Fi, money exchange, additional ATMs and duty-free shops will not be there at the airport. The first international flight takes off on September 15. The CHIAL also told the court that the deadlines for receiving such tenders have been extended.
After glancing through CHIAL’s documents, the petitioner, Mohali Industries Association’s, advocate Puneet Bali told the court that in place of food plaza, what they have proposed are kiosks. “They have proposed pigeon holes in place of food plaza where one would get tea and a burger only….. You are going international. Facilities should not be such that an international passenger come and decides not to visit again,” he said asking the court to issue directions and fix deadlines. He emphasised that international airports ought to have certain facilities that were lacking.
Responding to it, the CHIAL counsels told the court that CITCO had been roped in for food plaza facility for now. “Tenders have been floated. But deadlines had to be extended due to poor response in most cases,” a CHIAL counsel said, adding that some facilities such as money exchange will be set up immediately after operations begin. Later, the high court issued direction to CHIAL to submit deadlines of various facilities to be provided at airport on September 22, the next date of hearing.
UT, CHIAL, Punjab asked to hold meeting again
The HC bench also directed the UT administration, the CHIAL, the Indian Air Force and Punjab to hold a meeting to discuss land acquisition for proposed parallel runway. The meeting will be held on Monday. The HC directed Punjab, CHIAL, AAI and IAF to hold a meeting in Delhi before September 22 to discuss modalities for land acquisition.
The HC also directed Air India to re-consider its decision on schedule given for international combo flight from Chandigarh. The court observed that it should be scheduled in such a way that passengers flying out and coming into Chandigarh to areas such as Europe can benefit.
The take-off schedule given by Air India is of past noon. During the hearing, it came to light that if pre-poned by two or three hours, passengers going to Europe will benefit.
Facilities that are provided
1) Escalators, lifts, air-conditioning
2) Retail shops: of leather bags and accessories, International SIM card shop, counter for foreign exchange
3) SBI ATM
4) Tourism counter, information counter, medical facilities