Lack of public transport facility adds to air passengers’ woes

Say taxi, auto drivers charge hefty fares for taking them to city

Lack of public transport facility adds to air passengers’ woes

Passengers have to arrange conveyance on their own to reach the city, which is around 10 km from the airport. Tribune Photo

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 22

International and domestic air passengers coming to Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport are annoyed in the absence of a government transport facility between the city and the airport.

They have to arrange conveyance on their own to reach the city, which is around 10 km from the airport. The passengers complain that taxi and auto drivers charge exorbitantly.

The airport witnesses an average footfall of 7,000 passengers with close to 50 flights landing and taking off daily. It was acknowledged as the fastest growing airport with 83.5 % growth in domestic traffic. Despite this, the unavailability of the public transport facility has never made it to the to-do list of the government.

Rajbir Singh, a passenger, who was coming out of the departure lounge of the airport, said he want to reach the city to board the next available train or bus to Gurdaspur. He said, “I work in Dubai and in the absence of any public transport facility, I have to shell out Rs400 to reach the city. Had the facility been available, I would not have to pay more than Rs20.”

A USA-based NRI, Charanjit Singh Gumtala, said all airports in the world boast off their public transport facility to assist passengers. He said, “Passengers are at the receiving end while bargaining with taxi and auto drivers. They know that we don’t have any other alternative.”

Yogesh Kamra, convener, FlyAmritsar, said airports were considered as the engine of growth. Keeping in view the geographical location of the airport, it caters not only to passengers from Punjab, but also those from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

There are flights to nine international destinations — London, Birmingham, Dubai, Sharjah, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Doha, Ashgabat and Tashkent from the city.

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