Surat: A metropolitan city and boasting to be the first smart city of the country, Surat as the name suggests is beautiful. But its beauty is hampered when it comes to air connectivity. A genuine demand of the citizens of the city from a log time is being taken for granted by not only the government but also the companies operating in the domestic circuit of air travel in India.
It seems that the government, Air India and other private operators are either not understanding the potential of the city or they are under pressure of business houses of Mumbai, who do not want Surat to become more approachable, as it will seriously hamper their business.
Several committees and especially Surat Airport Action Committee had to fight it out to get Surat into the flight map of India. Otherwise Surat would have been left behindm, courtesy the dilly dallying attitude of both the government and the players in this field.
Interestingly, Surat with a population of around 45 lakh the has only 5 flights to and from the city. While Pune and Lucknow with population of around 31 lakh and 28 lakh respectively, has 108 and 147 flights.
The list is long. This step motherly treatment continues unabaited. The price of the tickets as compared to Vadodara and other smaller cities (businesswise) is quite lower for Delhi as compared to Surat.
According to the Surat Airport Action Committee Convener Sanjay Ezhava: ” There is no logic for this treatment meted out to Surat. Apart from making a number of presentations and delegation meetings with the top honchos in New Delhi, Surat has always been given a step motherly treatment in context to flight connectivity. Only 5 flights operate to and from the city that too at a higher priced tickets. Surat citizens and the travellers who want to come here within a short span are being taken for a ride.”
Sanjay Ezhava further says: “Surat businessmen are a harried lot. Better connectivity is being from a long time now. Moreover, the flight operators who we have met several times make false promises most of the time.
“This is the right time when the Surtis should come together to fight the grave injustice down to us and for that we are organizing an hunger strike on December 11,2016 Monday from 9.30 am onwards for the government to take note of it. We expect all Surtis to join in the strike and help in building a stronger air connectivity for Surat.”n ended Ezhava.