Retaining HAL !! The last hope…

– “HAaL ya B(IA)haaL!!”

May 22nd 2008, yes that’s the date! Just a day before HAL is pushed to cease domestic travel. Despite formal position of the civil aviation ministry is that metros require two airports likes of Mumbai and Delhi….

In an interlocutory petition filed by social worker B Krishna Bhat, Bangalore City Connectivity Foundation (BCCF) and advocate G R Mohan, SC sought the details regarding the meeting’s held involving the Chief Secretary and other senior officials on April 19 and May 12, it is learnt that in these meeting they found it impossible to retain the HAL airport.

The petitioner Mr. Bhat does have some interesting points put up before the bench…

• That the decision to close the HAL airport has been taken under pressure as the BIAL is not willing to give up its right under the agreement it has drawn up with the government.
• Even the gazette notification on May 16 for the inauguration of BIAL has come following pressure from BIAL.
Government has failed to minimize the problems faced by the public and suggested that the airport transport service, economy and efficiency should improve before considering the closure.
Infrastructure including the road connectivity to Devanahalli is not yet ready and the airport authority itself is not yet clear whether it can function effectively from Devanahalli.
• Quick inauguration is an attempt to pre-empt the dismissal of the PILs which are posted for June second week.
The new airport is already crowded with a capacity of just nine million, while the HAL airport has a capacity of 10.1 million and is therefore it is necessary to retain the HAL airport.
• Said that none of the respondents — BIAL, Union and State Governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) — had made any effort to thrash out the contentious issues.

All that and more action is slated in and around May 22nd and public at large continues to keep their fingers crossed…..

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