DIBRUGARH, May 5 � Regardless of the degree of physical constraint, the elderly, sick and the differently-abled persons are compelled to take the escalator service like any other air passenger at the Dibrugarh Airport at Mohanbari here to board flights via the aerobridge of the terminal building.
Even as public demand mounts for upgradation of the Dibrugarh airport into an international one considering its geographical proximity to the Southeast Asia, the non-functional elevator service is hardly a concern for the Airport Authority of India. The elevator service supposedly installed for the needy and physically challenged has been just left to rot and rust as it has not been operated for more then six months now. When informed about the hardships faced by patients, senior citizens and physically challenged people, KS Pandian, the Director of the Dibrugarh Airport said that the escalator was in good service and the old and physically-challenged persons were using the escalator. Asked why the elevator has not been restored for so long, he said that the firm assigned with the maintenance contract was not coming forward to take up the restoration works.
�For some reasons, the firm simply refuses to come to the North-east. They do not want to invest in the North-east. We have informed them but they have not turned up,� Pandian told The Assam Tribune. One U T Lift Limited group has been assigned for the maintenance, the Director said.
It must be mentioned here that the aerobridge facility is being used only by Jet Airways and Air India flights. Passengers with disabilities, patients and senior citizens travelling in these flights have to ascend to the first floor to board their flights through the aerobridge. Indigo flight, which ostensibly carries the highest number of passengers to and fro is yet to use the aerobridge facility. The Airport Authority of India is incurring revenue losses due to Indigo flights not using the aerobridge.