The Telegraph
Monday , June 30 , 2014
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Plane flies back to Calcutta

Kohima, June 29: An Air India Calcutta-Dimapur-Calcutta flight, whose tyres burst on landing yesterday at Dimapur airport, left this morning with the passengers after engineers from Calcutta repaired those.

The flight, AI-705, carrying 168 passengers, arrived in Dimapur where two of its tyres burst on landing.

It was scheduled to take off for Calcutta again around 1.30pm.

But as there were no engineers in Dimapur to repair the tyres, the aircraft was grounded. Air India could not arrange for any alternative flight from Calcutta either, as there is no night-landing facility at the airport.

The engineers came on an Air India flight this morning.

Although no one was hurt, passengers waiting to board the flight were disappointed as many missed their appointments and connecting flights from Calcutta.

The passengers also complained about the non-cooperative attitude of the ground staff of Dimapur and the poor quality of aircraft in the eastern sector.

A few passengers will be handing over a complaint letter to Air India.

This is not the first time such a technical problem has delayed flights.

Sources said Dimapur airport could not be equipped with better facilities and equipment mainly because of the insurgency problem.

“They have been extorting lakhs of rupees from private airlines and that is why they have stopped operating in Dimapur,” a source said.

The state government has asked the Centre for more flights in the state but private operators are unwilling.

Passengers from Nagaland have to go to Guwahati or Imphal to travel to Calcutta, New Delhi and other cities.

The proposed upgrade of Dimapur airport to an international airport is also unlikely to take off because of land acquisition problems. The state government said the landowners have been demanding huge sums of money as compensation.

Several rounds of talks were held with the landowners but the negotiations have failed. The state government has now proposed land for the airport at Sovima village near Dimapur.

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