For anyone visiting the LGBI airport in Guwahati, one might have experienced the horror of getting in and out of the airport premises due to the long queues of vehicles lining up to pay the parking fees towards the exit.
A vehicle dropping a passenger is usually given 5 minutes to exit the airport premises for which no parking charge is levied on it. But the parking booths at the entry and exit points of the airport are placed in such a way that no vehicle no matter how quickly does it try to exit cannot leave the area within 5 minutes. The long queues of vehicles also adds to the woes of drivers which makes it pretty much impossible for anyone to exit the airport premises without getting stuck in a jam. It is also interesting to note that passengers are charged even for entering and exiting the airport premises which reflects the utter ignorance of the Airport Authority as passengers already pay a heavy amount of taxes in their flight tickets.
Apart from these, there are no attendants to facilitate parking in the airport premises, let alone the question of safety and security of the vehicles parked there. It would be interesting to note that vehicles are charged an exorbitant amount as parking fee for which they are not even provided even the most basic facilities in the parking area. It is a common sight of the occupants of the vehicles getting into verbal arguments in regards to payment of parking fees at the parking booths which in turn adds to the harassment of other vehicles.
Eminent lawyer from Assam Bhaskar Dev Konwar in a social media post described his harrowing experience while returning from Borjhar airport on 16th April 2018. He writes, "Today, any vehicle which left the Airport in the afternoon, had to wait for minimum 30/45 minutes at the exit booth of the Airport as only the attendants at the exit booth were inefficient in collecting the parking fees, for which long queues of vehicle formed before the exit point, which stretched up to the drop-off point of the Airport. On enquiry with the taxi driver, he disclosed that this is a common scenario at the Airport these days. This sort of unorganised system and officials' attitude are a disgrace to our State and hinder development."
Such is the scenario witnessed by anyone who arrives at LGBI Airport and this is the first impression which is disappointing and portrays a negative image of the State. We hope this news report will ring the bells of the higher authorities and will lead to the end of airport parking mafia raaj in Guwahati.
Photo credits: Bhaskar Dev Konwar