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Ordeal of Dmu bound AI passengers
Published on 21 Jun. 2010 12:06 AM IST
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Harassments to Dimapur bound passengers of Air India(Indian Airlines) flights especially at Kolkata airport are as legendary as the prejudice at Kolkata airport with the latest incident on June 18 confirming the kind of shabby treatment meted out.
On June 18, passengers of Air India flight IC 7701 from Kolkata- Dimapur experienced a series of harassments at the airport till they were diverted to the Kolkata-Imphal flight then returning back to Kolkata before finally landing at Dimapur the next day.
According to one of the passengers who were to take flight IC 7701 from Kolkata to Dimapur, they were informed through SMS centre 1801801407 on June 17 that the flight would be delayed by one hour.
It was reported that after security check at 11.30 a.m. passengers were waiting to board the plane which was to take off at 12 noon. It was then announced that departure would be made after 15 minutes. This “after 15 minutes”became a routine for nine or ten times before passengers were finally informed at 2.45 p.m. that Dimapur-bound passengers would be accommodated in flight IC 207 to Imphal.
After landing at Imphal at around 4.05pm, an air hostess informed that the flight would not be landing at Dimapur airport, owing to water logging at Dimapur airport and that the flight would have to return back to Kolkata. Despite protests by passengers and demand by a parliamentary secretary to meet the pilot, it was refused and the flight returned back to Kolkata the same evening.
A girl student from Bangalore who was to go to Diphu from Dimapur, received news during the stop at Imphal that her ailing father had died at Diphu. The flight landed at Kolkata at 5.30 p.m and the girl had to take the night flight to Gauhati en route Diphu.
Another shock was in store after landing at Kolkata where the airlines officials at the assistance counter, dismissed the pleas of passengers with smiles and informed that hotel accommodation would be given only to transit passengers. Several students traveling in the flight had no money had to be helped by some senior citizens on the flight with hotel and transportation expenses.
The Dimapur-bound passengers finally landed at Dimapur only the next day after an ordeal made worse by the of airlines staff at Kolkata airport.
There would have been a hue and cry if it happened to passengers of other routes.
Water logging is a perennial problem at Dimapur airport despite series of civil works undertaken in the past by the Airport Authority.However, on June 18,the problem did not merit cancellation of the flight as condition improved considerably by evening.
The passenger list of the flight in question reportedly included 11 South Korean missionary workers, a parliamentary secretary, wife of a minister of Nagaland, central and state government officials, businessmen and six students among others.

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