AGARTALA, Oct 22 � The Tripura Government today attacked the Union Ministry of Aviation for not taking action against private airlines which were charging abnormally high rate for air tickets operating on Agartala-Kolkata route.
Railway services from Lumding in Assam to Agartala was stopped due to a mega block imposed by the railways department for conversion of the railway tracks from meter gauge to broad gauge from the October 1, State Transport Minister Manik Dey said.
Taking advantage of this, private airline companies were charging undue prices from the passengers, the Transport Minister told reporters here. He alleged that despite informing the matter to the Central Government, no action was initiated against the private operators.
�We have repeatedly drawn the notice of Central Government about the issue. The Government of India replied that air fares of domestic flights are determined by market forces and not by the Central Government�, Dey said.
He added that most airline companies were planning to reduce or withdraw flights from Agartala-Kolkata route. The Jet Airlines was known to be withdrawing service from the State altogether, he said.
Asked about the issue, Dey said that the State Government wrote to Jet Airlines to increase number of flights on Agartala-Kolkata route.
He said the passengers of the land locked State were facing unbearable situation because the only way of going to Kolkata was by air and the patients and the students were the worst victims.
�There is no logic why an airlines company can charge upto Rs 15,000 for a 310 KM journey (aeronautical) from Agartala to Kolkata�, he said adding that flights usually travel with a 90 per cent to 100 per cent full cabin.
Secretary for Transport, Tripura wrote to the ministry of Civil Aviation last week to take stock of the situation and do the needful, he said. �PTI