'Do not treat NRIs as non required Indians'

'Do not treat NRIs as non required Indians'

M'lore Intl Airport Users Forum stages dharna demanding facilities

'Do not treat NRIs as non required Indians'

Don’t treat Non Resident Indians (NRI) as ‘non required Indians’. Rules and regulations are clearly charted out for NRIs at Mangalore International Airport (MIA), but great negligence has been shown in providing facilities, said Mangalore International Airport Users Forum Mangalore Co-ordinator M R Vasudeva, who retired as the Mangalore Airport director.

Addressing a protest called by the forum, demanding solution for various problems faced by the NRIs at Mangalore airport, in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office on Monday, he said that NRIs were also a part of the struggle which was carried out from 1983 to 2006 seeking international status to Mangalore airport and they very happy when it got the status. Now, the MIA has modern facilities like instrumental landing facility, new terminal building etc, but the government has done nothing for them.

‘Restart Volvo buses’

The government should not think NRIs as investors. They don’t have empires in Gulf countries. There are many who work as hotel boys and mechanics. “The State government should open a CET cell in Mangalore for NRI students, like any other state does. There should be a full-fledged passport office in Mangalore. The Volvo bus facility from MIA to railway station, which was stopped, should be started again. More than logic, right brain should work here,” he said.

‘Implement open sky policy’

Mangalore International Airport Users Forum Co-ordinator Prabhakara Ambalathere demanded the government to implement open sky policy in Mangalore airport. Flight rates to Calicut, Cochin and Trivandrum in Kerala are very low (Rs 9,280) whereas to Mangalore, it is four-times high (Rs 32,000). MIA is in need of budget airlines. Meanwhile, luggage limit in Mangalore is 17 kg though they pay more and in Kerala, it is 30 kg. There is no user fee in Trivandrum airport and in Mangalore, they are collecting the fees without mentioning the last date.

Arab Udupi Restaurant- All Staffs organisation President Shekar Shetty said that MIA authority is earning lakhs from NRIs, especially from those who come from Arab countries. The number of people from Dakshina Kannada in Arab countries is increasing and they have good opinion about us.

They are providing every facility to us. So, people are saving money and investing it in our country. However, the government is not responding to our woes, he rued. Beary’s Cultural Forum patron Mumtaz Ali said that if demand won’t get fulfilled, the protest will continue in Bangalore and Delhi too.

The protesters later submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner requesting him to take steps to establish a NRI grievances cell in City. Earlier, a memorandum was also given to Airport Director and Custom Officer at Bajpe International Airport. Around 31 NRI organisations supported the protest.

Forum Co-ordinator Venkatesh Bhat, Mangalore Konkans Dubai President James Madonsa and KESEF Secretary Madhavan Anianh among others were present.

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