Letters 04-11-2010

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 4.11.10
What should have been a gateway of pride is now a symbol of our shame

In response to the question, “Why is Calcutta airport such a mess?”(November 1), here are my views:

1) The space inside the domestic terminal is relatively small. It delays security check and creates an unusually long queue at the entrance.

2) Lack of help-desks at the entrance puts passengers in a spot regarding flight information.

3) Lack of customer-friendly approach displayed by the airport staff.

4) The unruly behaviour of taxi drivers and their practice of charging exorbitant fares.

Debasish Chatterjee,

VIP Road

lI am a frequent traveller and have faced the following problems while leaving Calcutta airport:

1) Just try boarding a pre-paid taxi. The person manning the cash counter may or may not even return the full balance.

2) Locating your taxi is a huge challenge.

3) I have seen taxi drivers haggling with passengers with extra baggage just to get some extra cash.

4) There is no policeman in sight to control the situation or any representative from the pre-paid counter to help.

Contrast this with the Delhi airport. Your prepaid receipt does not have a taxi number. You board the taxi the policeman guides you to.

Sanjeev Bhatt,

Address not given

Touts are there even inside the airport to grab trolley and luggage. The men at the pre-paid taxi booth cause a lot of trouble. Touts ask for taxis outside the exit gate in the presence of policemen.

S. Guptaa,

Address not given

l I came to Calcutta on October 25 from New Delhi. I was shocked that both the trolleys I could lay my hands on were broken, exactly the same as shown in a Metro photograph. The luggage just slipped through. Also, the toilets are not clean.

Vivek Dudheria,

Address not given

l Why can’t the airport authorities arrange to keep trolleys near the exit and entry gates? Almost on every occasion while leaving the city, I’ve had to keep my luggage at one place and then hunt for trolleys in the parking lot.

Why can’t the authorities take the initiative to remove these touts from the exit points? If passengers can avail both pre-paid and post-paid taxis in Howrah station, why can’t similar arrangements be made at the airport?

Arindam Banerjee,

Address not given

l The number of X-ray machines at the baggage checking counter is grossly insufficient. The number of boarding gates is also insufficient and there is a huge queue at the entrance.


Address not given

l The pre-paid taxi counter is a pain for passengers. First there is a long queue to book, after that as you leave the terminal the touts pounce on you to guide you to the allotted taxi and demand tips.

G.V.S. Murthy,


l One reason I hate coming to Calcutta is the sheer airport experience.

Flying out is a nightmare. First, most airlines have barely a couple of counters. Therefore you are stuck for hours in a queue.

The loos are lousy, there is no place to sit, the food available is pathetic and even after you have cleared the security, you find no place to sit. The bookstall stores bestsellers of several years ago, and there is no electronics shop on the premises.

The biggest issue is that it has been this way for ages while it is apparently being revamped. Sure there was chaos during the Mumbai and Delhi airport revamps. But at least each time you stepped in, you could see concrete measures of progress.

The Delhi and Mumbai airports offer enough seating space, plenty of check-in counters, easy security clearance, clean loos, a sense of space, good food and beverage options and finally enough book and other stalls to while your time away.

In Calcutta, you need to reach early because the airport is small and the queues are horrendous. And then you wait, and wait, and wait... in dirty surroundings.

Prosenjit Datta,

New Delhi

l I live in Australia. When I reach Calcutta after nearly 15 hours of flying I am exhausted. The flights reach mostly at midnight. At the airport, the taxis demand a huge amount. The whole place seems very unsafe. Then the taxi drivers start asking for more money on the way. Nowadays I have reduced my frequency of coming to Calcutta mainly because of the harassment at the airport.

Malay Ghosh,

Cambridge, Australia

l Calcutta has one of the worst airports in India in terms of overall maintenance. Trolleys are hard to find. The toilets are pathetic.

If you are accompanied by a senior citizen, it’s next to impossible to get a seat for him/her. Nothing less than a revolution is needed to set the airport on the right track.

Jeetu Daklia,

Chowringhee Road

Calcutta airport is not fit to be called an international airport. The facilities are too bad, nothing seems right here. And the toilets are a horror story.

Shaunak Das,

Dharmatala Lane

I work in the Calcutta airport for a private airline and every day I get to see all the troubles that Metro has highlighted.

The airport is a public place and it demands basic facilities like drinking water and hygienic restrooms. But Calcutta lacks all these.

Washrooms are the worst here. No soap dispensers, no liquid soap...

Bunty Sharma,

Address not given

Like everything else in this city, the airport too is something that does not work. As the saying goes, the first impression is the best impression. Obviously, Calcutta airport fails to project a decent or a favourable impression of the city.

Rupnarayan Bose,

Salt Lake

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