Why this hypocrisy Mr Patel?

This post is long overdue. It has been over a month when I last flew from the new airport at Hyderabad - in fact that was my first time too. We were on a trip to Chandigarh/Jammu via Delhi.

A lot has already been said about the traffic snarls en route Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. After security check-in we wanted to grab something to eat as we had come straight from office. Very soon we realized that the options we had were limited - limited not just in terms of the cuisine but more so in terms of the cost, which I found prohibitive. I guess we did not want to start our journey on a stingy note and had a sandwich, which cost us Rs 140. For two loaves of bread and some dressing in between, it surely was a robbery.

This set my mind thinking on the logistics of this all. I discussed it with friends too. Some of them got back at me saying "You were the one supporting the new airport", some opined that since GMR (developers of the airport) are spending so much, they need to award contracts to the service providers at a higher cost - in all possibility there would have been a bidding process.

Let us look at the logic behind the new airports and upgradation of existing ones. The main reason bandied by the Civil Aviation Minister and bureaucrats in his ministry is capacity addition - to accommodate the burgeoning number of people who are flying. Now, it goes without saying that a big portion of this addition are first-time fliers who fly the Low Cost Carriers (LCC). So you are building airports for the new middle class which cost conscious but the services are being charged at a price fit for business class. Why do we get bitten by the Western bug when it comes to airports? Why are low cost services at airports considered image-deterring? Why this effort to maintain an air of exclusivity around airports?

A related point that comes is - why can you not try to have a revenue strategy which involves volumes instead of selling products at higher price? I would really appreciate if the government and authorities concerned would give a thought to this.


  1. On a related subject, my friend asked an interesting question to me. We pay the extra Rs.20/- for internet reservation in IRCTC. The question is "Why?".

    Aren't we actually making it more cost effective for them?
    - Less people @ counter, implying les s people to hire
    - less number of tickets for IRCTC to print meaning saving printing and paper charges for them!

    My only theory is Indian Railways is paying the entity that maintains the infrastructure for them using the money. But that is *if* it is maintained externally. Even so, it must be one huge sum of money!

  2. Good point. They should actually make it cheaper to book train tickets online and using plastic money. Not only because of the factors you mentioned but also to encourage this trend - which helps to transition towards a better way of traveling.