The city is preparing to start international flights from mid-September, but the journey of residents from the Chandigarh international airport to their homes in the tricity will cost them heavily. The lone private taxi contractor, who has been given the contract for five years at the airport, is charging Rs 750 from the airport to any part of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula.
On the other hand, the private taxi owners, who ferry passengers from Sector 17 to the airport, charge only Rs 250 to Rs 300.
Vijay Raina, the private taxi contractor at the airport, said, “It is expensive, but we cannot help it out as we are paying a hefty rent of Rs 4.25 lakh per month to the airport authorities.”
Surinder Bagha, nominated councillor of the Chandigarh MC, who is a frequent traveller, said that there should be a proper mechanism to fix taxi rates. Once international flights start, foreign travellers will definitely raise the issue of fleecing.
Airport CEO Sunil Dutt said, “In case, people find this expensive, they can use bus service also, which is after every 35 minutes. There is a mega-cab service also. At the airport, charges are on the higher side.”
The parking contractor is also fleecing by charging money from visitors, who come to drop relatives at the airport. As per the contract, the contractor is not supposed to charge for an entry lasting less than eight minutes from visitors. However, the people, who were exiting the airport within 8 minutes, were also being charged Rs 60. Even the rate list for cars was missing from the signboard.
When confronted by this reporter, parking attendant Naval said, “I am sorry and am ready to return the money.” Another regular visitor to the airport, Arshdeep Singh, an electronics engineer in Chandigarh, said, “This 8-minute free service is just a joke as authorities also know that it takes around 15 minutes to return, even if you come to drop a person. The authorities should step in to streamline the process.”