The joint house committee of the Karnataka legislature has slammed the holy cows of Bangalore and the multinational corporations that built the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) at Devanahalli for “faulty” design and construction, and “poor quality of workmanship”.
The panel has said the new airport looked like an “industrial shed” and not an airport of international standards; that did not reflect the “culture and glory” of Karnataka; that the public-private partnership (PPP) is not a boon but a bane; and it has accused BIAL of coming up with patchy, non-scientific and thoughtless solutions.
The panel has indicted Infosys chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrashekhar, and top bureaucrats V.P. Baligar and K. Jairaj. It has recommended appropriate action against officers responsible for the current state of affairs, and wants Larsen & Toubro, Unique Zurich Airport to be blacklisted for a minimum of five years.
Questions: Do you agree with the panel’s conclusions and recommendations? Has Bangalore missed a trick and been shortchanged? Or are politicians up to their usual tricks? What has your “user-experience” been? How does it compare with airports within India and elsewhere? Can the situation be rectified?
Has BIAL’s move to name the airport “Bengaluru International Airport Limited” flopped with the panel recommending that it be named after Kempe Gowda?
Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Tipu Sultan vs Kempe Gowda?
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I am a very heavy user of BIAL. I fly out and fly in every week – for more than a year now. I stay 50 kms away from the airport. I am quite happy with the airport. The check in time, security check time are quite fast. I refuse to agree that the airport is a “shed”!!!
I mean what moron approved the design in the first place, if it is called one. This is after protracted dilly dally of so many years. The whole project reference point seems to be old airport, but just a little bigger.
And please don’t again make reference to Indian airports, when designing a new green field airport. We should be breaking new ground in the architecture, with landmark projects like airports.
The report only shows the bankruptcy and the shamelessness of our beloved netas and politician – goondas. The only piece of infrastructure that has come up without a whiff of scandal that usually accompanies anything that the vidhana soudha mandaris and cohorts come up with – is now painted in black. While their allegations may have some truth in it, for them to talk about this – is the ultimate scandal. Mr. Sagar only needs to stand in front of sagar hospital on banerghatta road – which is blatantly violating all rules with vehicles parked on the footpath and the road and the varied kalyana mantapas – which disrupts traffic on the narrow lanes – please clean your stable before you come preaching about another place. These guys are a curse on us – oh bhuvaneshwari…what a lot we have to rule us…destroy us and loot us.
I fly in and out of the airport pretty often and yes, construction wise, it probably pales in comparison to the Hyderabad and the upcoming Mumbai airport, but functionality-wise it is as good as the above and far superior to the perennially malfunctioning Delhi airport.
While criticism on monopoly, etc. maybe justified, personal attacks on board members shouldn’t find their way into such reports.
Again, I have not fully read the report so I do not know on what basis various conclusions have been drawn, but suffice to say that one probably bungled project does not call into question the whole PPP model, nor does it entail blacklisting of world class project developers.
Satya: Being happy is a relative word. I too am a very frequent traveler (8 trips a month), and am extremely unhappy with BIAL.
One doesn’t need to travel 40-50km to an airport that has less than 1.5acre terminal space (after being allotted 4000acre land) for over 10million passengers a year.
Compare it objectively with any modern airport built in last 10 years you’ll know why it is indeed a ‘shed’.
Even if you overlook the lack of asthetics, it is a disaster in terms of capacity. Not enough security check counters, small carousels (so lot of crowding a arrival), heavy charge for use of aero bridge (as there aren’t enough aero bridges for traffic), passenger seating capacity being so low, very less walkabout space, making people bump over each other in departure lounge.
The problems of BIAL are many. It is basically a ripoff. Some companies made huge monies at State tax payer expense.
Have you ever tried to compare BIAL with Hyderabad airport which opened at the same time though it started work much later? Hyderabad has 1/3rd the traffic of Bangalore but, the airport is better on following parameters:
– runway length
– Number of Aerobridges
– number of checkin counters
– Number of Security Check points
– seating capacity in waiting areas.
– Amount of walk and open spaces.
– Carousel facility
It is wrong to compare BIAL with HAL airport or Mumbai/Delhi airports and be happy. Those airports are 50+ years old and don’t lend themselves to apples-to-apple comparison.
>The only piece of infrastructure that has come up without a whiff of scandal
Sadly this isn’t the case.
BIAL is a huge scam of getting a monopoly at a very low cost, and selling it out at 10-12times the investment within 4-5 years. In each count it is a scam. Do you know the investment made for BIAL is less than the amount govt. spent on making the connectivity arrangements?
And the same state govt. went for PPP model saying they didn’t have the money to construct the airport!! Now they are proposing Airport-Expressway and Airport-Express train etc, each at a cost that’s higher than the airport itself (which cost only about Rs.2500crore!!
Out of the land allotted to the airport only half is to be used for the airport, rest half is being developed into Hotels and commercial spaces. The pay off for the companies invested was so huge it is a shame.
Some people got huge pay offs in all this.
I fly a lot mostly international and the worst thing is the baggage claims and the immigration area. I agree it looks like an industrial shed and somehow it doesnt appeal like other airports. Good thing is that , the flights leave on time ( due to less air traffic) and one doesnt have to spend time waiting ….for ppl from South Bangalore, its a major pain traveling to the new airport and there has to be review done on the approach road to the airport !
I do use the airport regularly. The airport serves it’s purpose. It is functional and works well. The counters move quick enough. If we are judging it as an airport – satisfactory. There is not too much to complain about. (Except if you are a driver – parking, food, and other basic amenities can be beyond the reach of this constituency).
I don’t really care too much if the airport is an architectural marvel or not. Not worth pouring money in that direction for a city like Bengaluru that has a host of other infrastructure problems as well.
The new airport has done wonders for residents in the Indira Nagar and surrounding area. Traffic congestion has eased out substantially thanks to the close of the new airport.
Land inflation in Devanahalli and adjoining suburbs is worrying and the land-bank in the hands of the private developers means that they are sitting on massive assets. So much of land in BIAL handso means that operational effeciencies are likely to create less profitability than land transactions ;-).
I also travel by train regularly. The fact that many air passengers have switched over to trains for Chennai, Coimbatore and Hyderabad makes it tougher to get tickets. I wish the railway station would get an upgrade – as far more passengers use it now. We could use more Shatabdi trains from Bangalore. This train is far better than a flight in many ways.
That said, I am not too convinced about Industry bigwigs lending their names to PPP projects. Wouldn’t these folks (e.g. NRN) be pre-disposed to side with the private sector when push comes to shove? I think we need to safeguard public interest and not just private interests.
Its no doubt that the design of the airport building is BAD. But this design was approved by various Governments and all CMs, central & state ministers took queues to see the model of the airport whenever they came to power. At that time, none felt that this design is bad and suddenly now they feel that it is bad. This shows the “Vision” of our politicians.
As an airport user, i care not whether it is built in 4 acres or 4000 acres. For me as a user, i need to have sufficient space when i use the airport and this airport definitely provides that for the current traffic. Secondly, as a user we need the services like check-in, boarding, luggage collection, etc. to be smooth & fast and in my little experience of international travel, the standard set by BIAL is definitely very very good.
I feel it is a case of efficiency vs looks. Unfortunately, both are required and we cannot trade one for another. This is where BIAL has done not just a mistake but a blunder. As Praful Patel said yesterday, BIAL has promised to rectify all these in phase II and we should give them chance to do that with atleast this time proper monitoring from all parties concerned.
Moreover, with GVK taking over the control of the airport from 2010, the “Indian” touch which was missing in this airport will be added. With the good work of GVK seen at Mumbai airport, I am sure they will turnaround BIAL also into a better airport.
My user experience is that –
1. It is already small.
2. There are no immigration ‘counters’. Instead, the immigration officers sit at tables that resemble the ‘archane cheeTi’ tables inside temples.
Calling it an industrial shed is appropriate.
Used it only one
The only problem I found with the airport was that it is very far from the city
I would like the humongous Louis Vuitton Bag replica removed from the entrance of the airport. It looks sick…
Why are all these people saying they are using the airport regularly therefore it must be well designed ? How do they draw such a conclusion?
See, every morning I am getting up and using the latrine. So I am using it very regularly. Does it mean it is the best toilet ?
Obviously the best toilets are made in Japan, where they have custom seating area, seating area is heated in winter and cooled in summer, and even water temperature of the bidet can be personalized. Their toilets play mp3 music and you can make phone call while doing toilet. Now see, that is the real toilet. In Bangalore we are simply perching our behind on a ditch in the ground and doing the needful and then washing it with cold water from a mug and then just because we are doing it regularly does it mean we have the best toilet ?
I do not want to comment on the reports but the hype and news BIAL is creating definitely needs to be taken seriously. Major problem is that it is really very far and the very thought of going there itself brings pain in the neck!
I feel there needs to be an independent body looking into the deficiencies of BIAL, we know how the politicians are so it is difficult to believe their reports, and also we do not want any of the so called “Industry Captains” in the committee, they are a sick lot again….. let them be poster boys for TOI….
What Harkol said is very correct, I often use this airport flying in from Hyderabad ,when compare it with Hyd Intl airport, the terminal area is very less and you would always find rush at every counters in the airport vis security, luggage etc;
An airport can be rated great when it has a large terminal which is appreciated by the commuter who enjoys its facilities, here in BIAL I think that only is missing.
ನಾರಾಯಣ ಉವಾಚ: “ನಾರಾಯಣ ಮೂರ್ತಿಗೆ ಏರೋಪ್ಲೇನ್ ಹತ್ತಿಸಿಬಿಡಿ.”
Airplane HattisOdu. has different meaning in colloquial language of police.
I use the airport 6-7 times a month. I always look for airport that takes you least steps from the kerb side to the plane seat. BIAL wins over other airports. Hyderabad airport is a behemoth and the travel to reach your car upon arrival is a punishment. COmpared to old airport, the new airport is a Blessings.
ನಾರಾಯಣ ಉವಾಚ: “ನಾರಾಯಣ ಮೂರ್ತಿಗೆ ಏರೋಪ್ಲೇನ್ ಹತ್ತಿಸಿಬಿಡಿ
This may also mean that Murthy should be made to board the plane from BIAL
Very Very Funny. That comment deserves an award for toilet humour.
this was coming.
right from the day of initiation of idea of intl airport in the city , the project was mired with controversies. when a set of businessmen is given the responsibility of overseeing a public project , businessmen will consider only topline,bottomline,ebidta etc and not public interest.
when devegowdru had suggested that there were serious discripancies in the blueprint ,he was branded anti-development, now look whats happening. his stance is vindicated.
airport should be called KEMPEGOWDA INTL AIRPORT and nothing else.
lol, i happened to use that kinda toiled in one off KFC near akihabara. I could not find the flush, freaked me out to the core. I had to press all the buttons while the last button was flush :D meanwhile, while i was in processing of pressing those buttons, i thought there was an earthquake lol… it was super scary… hehehe!
coming to BIAL, I liked the place honestly, specially the arrival. But! having said that, its small… we need a bigger airport, its small and packed.
Bangalore International Airport Ltd, or Bial, in which GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd is the second largest shareholder is now the latest black money ATM, reserved only for the powerful billionaires of India.
Despite severe criticism by a panel of Karnataka legislature on the construction of the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), kick-backs in allocating various tenders..etc, the Board of Directors of BIAL today decided to expand the airport, Viz., mandatory milk kannadigas much more and in the process legally induct three new members at the Board meeting – ALL non-kannadiga Reddy’s! G V Krishna Reddy, Indira K Reddy and G V Sanjay Reddy were appointed as new Directors. (Welcome to Karnataka!)
Key Question: When will we see glorified, white skins, canny Chinese and Africans as Directors too? Can the Reddy’s dream of such freedom to loot in Teleghana?
BTW, to those in the dark, aside to the illegal iron ore Reddy billionaires, the GVK Power Chairman is among the richest, stealth and most politically-connected Indians within South India while Blr is India’s third busiest airport!
the BIAL terminal is not good compare to hyderabad rgairport a