When the tarmac turned open restaurant

When the tarmac turned open restaurant

When the tarmac turned open restaurant

Forget the multibillion-dollar metallic birds and the men in fatigue piloting them, going through the awe-inspiring aerobatics for those gathered at the Aero India show.

Sensing a god-sent business opportunity, you had food firms virtually invading the tarmac where families had assembled to catch the scintillating action in the azure sky of the Air Force Base at Yelahanka.

This, while the authorities concerned, in the run-up to the five-day biennial aerospace spectacle had ensured that roadside eateries and dhabas defer their routine, for it would not only lead to traffic jams on the highway, but also draw birds near the airbase, which would put the entire exercise in jeopardy.

However, on Saturday, this very authority seemed to have turned a convenient Nelson’s eye when vendors of various eats, soft and energy drinks, and a whole assortment of food carts, simply ran roughshod over the specifically sanitised area, bringing food by the bulk to the spot where spectators had camped to watch and cheer the heart-stopping aerial display and the static display arena.

One cannot blame the hungry citizens who are frisked at the entrance and divested of their food they carry, and have also been strictly advised not to carry any food items, falling a willing accomplice to these branded vendors of food ranging from vada pavs, sandwiches and other items, besides canned drinks.

What was indeed roiling was the fact that with the disposal and garbage cans nowhere near at hand or in the vicinity, the public had no choice but to dump the waste on the tarmac, including empty drink cans and tetrapacks.

That the birds would have simply swooped in to feast on the waste, if not for the large mass of humanity and milling crowd, does not take away the unpardonable act of greed over the general good of those that had won the tenders to serve food and drinks for those that came to the Air Force Base. It is a wonder that the authorities, who were so perfect, and rightly so in ensuring utmost sanitisation of the entire campus for the conduct of the show, could have let such a chink in their armour go unnoticed.

With Sunday expected to see a virtual deluge of humanity converging on the aerial display area, given that the top draw of Aero India 2013 being the Russian Knights with their quintet of Sukhois are there to give them a daredevil performance of a lifetime the Saturday crowd had enjoyed to the full, one hopes the lapse is quickly rectified.