By our Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 15: All is not well in the Lokapriya Gopith Bordoloi Intertiol Airport (LGBI) – the premier intertiol airport of Northeast India which connects the region with other parts of the country. Allegations have surfaced that an uuthorized taxi organization is running a syndicate in the premises of the airport, which has resulted in harassment to travelling passengers. Sources said that this uuthorized taxi syndicate is operating right under the noses of the AAI as well as the local police authorities.
As per allegations, the syndicate is being run by Guwahati Airport Taxi Association, which is not an authorised association under the Airport Authority of India (AAI), Borjhar. This syndicate issues parking spots to commercial vehicles coming from Tezpur, Jorhat, Shillong and other places, which has been causing immense difficulties to the authorised taxi associations and also for the smooth running of the airport. Agents of the Guwahati Airport Taxi Association also woo unsuspecting travellers as soon as they come out of the arrival lounge to these uuthorised taxis in lieu for commission.
It is indeed surprising how such an uuthorised group can run its business in the intertiol airport without the approval and without paying any revenue or due to the airport authorities! The existence of this kind of a taxi group has raised serious apprehensions over the safety and security of the passengers as well.
In most other major airports of the country, there are prepaid taxi booths both inside and outside the arrival counters. However, there is only one prepaid taxi booth inside the arrival counter and there is urgent need for one more prepaid booth outside the arrival lounge for the ease and convenience of the passengers.
The Borjhar Tourist Cab Association (BTCA) is a taxi association running their business inside the airport premises by paying due royalty to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) on a monthly system. However, the AAI does not receive a single penny from the Guwahati Airport Taxi Association. The BTCA has informed both the AAI and the Kamrup (Metro) district administration several times in writing about the existence of this taxi syndicate. Surprisingly, both the district administration and the AAI have maintained a stoic silence over the issue.
It may be mentioned here that several no parking boards were placed in a few parts of the airport's parking area which created a lot of confusion for travellers. Several home gaurds were also deployed in the area who used to harass the travellers for unnecessary reasons. The Sentinel recently carried a news item on the issue along with photographs. After publication of the news, the AAI had removed all the no parking boards from the area. Will the AAI now kindly look into the matter of the operation of this uuthorised taxi syndicate because apart from causing harassment to travellers, it is also posing a serious security threat to their lives and belongings.