Bengaluru Airport Will Not Charge Rs 150 For Just Entering The Airport Premises: Find Out Why?


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

May 22, 2024


Following significant backlash from taxi operators and passengers, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has decided to revoke the recently imposed arrival lane charges for all vehicles entering the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru. The charges are currently under review by the airport authorities, as confirmed by BIAL officials.

Bengaluru Airport Will Not Charge Rs 150 For Just Entering The Airport Premises: Find Out Why?

Protests from Taxi Operators

The reversal of the decision came after protests led by the Karnataka Cab Drivers Association, headed by Narayanaswamy. Taxi drivers gathered at the airport premises to express their dissatisfaction with the newly introduced fees. The charges imposed by BIAL included a Rs 150 entry fee for commercial vehicles, such as Ola and Uber taxis, for up to 7 minutes, and Rs 300 for stays beyond 7 minutes. Private vehicles were charged Rs 150 for stays exceeding 7 minutes up to 14 minutes, while buses and tempo travelers faced fees of Rs 600 and Rs 300, respectively.

Rationale Behind the Charges

BIAL introduced the arrival lane charges to manage unauthorized entry of cab drivers into the arrival lanes, which caused significant traffic congestion and inconvenience to passengers. Many unauthorized private cab operators, not registered under any competent authority, used to line up at arrival lanes 2 and 3, leading to overcrowding and delays. These cab drivers often charged exorbitant fares, resulting in numerous complaints from passengers. The aim was to regulate these entries and streamline traffic flow, similar to practices at other major airports in India like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

Response from Transport Associations

The decision to revoke the charges has not entirely satisfied the cab operators. Nataraj Sharma, president of The Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Association, has demanded a written confirmation from BIAL regarding the withdrawal of the charges. He emphasized that without a formal written notice, cab drivers would continue to protest and might pursue legal action. Sharma criticized the charges as a form of indirect extortion, arguing that they disproportionately affected cab drivers who rely on taxi operations for their livelihood.

Future Implications

As the situation stands, BIAL is reviewing the decision to impose arrival lane charges. The reversal, though temporary, reflects the power of collective action and the importance of considering the livelihoods of those affected by such policies. The outcome of the review and any potential changes to the fee structure will be closely watched by stakeholders, including cab drivers, passengers, and airport authorities.

Summary

The arrival lane charges at Kempegowda International Airport were revoked by BIAL following protests from cab drivers. Initially, fees were imposed to control unauthorized cab entries causing congestion. Despite the reversal, cab operators demand written confirmation of the withdrawal and threaten further protests and legal action if not provided.


Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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