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May 21, 2024

Bengaluru Airport Relinquishes Vehicle Entry Fees Amid Backlash: Chaos Erupts as Policy Reversed

In response to mounting public fury and impending protests, Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport has swiftly retracted its decision to levy entry fees on vehicles. The Bangalore International Airport Limited (Bial) faced a barrage of criticism, including backlash from passengers, protest plans by cab drivers, and widespread online condemnation. The abrupt reversal came after chaos erupted at the airport due to the sudden implementation of the fee without prior notice.

Initially slated to commence on May 20, the proposed entry fee for both private and commercial vehicles sparked immediate outrage. Yellow board vehicles, including cabs and commercial transports, were slated to pay Rs 150 for up to seven minutes, with fees escalating to Rs 300 thereafter. Private whiteboard vehicles were also subject to charges, with a rate of Rs 150 for durations beyond seven minutes up to 14 minutes. Buses and tempo travelers faced steeper fees, with charges reaching Rs 600 and Rs 300, respectively. However, following the public uproar, these plans have been scrapped.

According to Bial sources, the introduction of the fee aimed to streamline traffic flow and enhance security measures, particularly to curb issues such as haphazard parking and unattended vehicles. However, the move backfired, leading to chaos and discontent among travelers and transport operators alike.

Amidst the turmoil, the airport received a prestigious accolade from Unesco, further highlighting the stark contrast between its recent policy misstep and its architectural triumph. Terminal 2 (T2) of Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru was honored with the “World special prize for interior design 2023” at the Prix Versailles 2023 awards. Chaired by renowned fashion designer Elie Saab, the global jury recognized T2 as one of the “World’s most beautiful airports,” marking it as the sole Indian recipient of this esteemed recognition.

Reacting to this distinguished acknowledgment, Hari Marar, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bengaluru International Airport Ltd, expressed immense pride in Terminal 2’s nomination and subsequent award. Marar remarked that T2’s unique fusion of art and technology not only serves as a distinguished gateway for global travelers but also showcases the rich cultural offerings of the state and the nation.

In conclusion, the tumultuous events surrounding the suspension of vehicle entry fees at Bengaluru’s airport serve as a reminder of the power of public opinion in shaping policy decisions. While the airport celebrates its architectural triumph on the global stage, it also faces the imperative to balance operational considerations with the expectations and demands of its stakeholders.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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