A BIAL by any other name is still a hideous KGIAL

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Some of India’s most inanimate public structures have seen massive sex-change operations in the post-colonial age: Lady Willingdon‘s park became Lodi Gardens in New Delhi; Queen Victoria terminus became Chattrapati Shivaji terminus Bombay.

No such complicated medical procedures were required for “hi-tech” Bangaloreans, where the Bangalore international airport (BIAL) smoothly (well, nearly smoothly) transitioned into the Kempe Gowda international airport (KGIAL) in the 50th week of the year of The Lord 2013.

BIAL was termed the “most underdesigned, underconnected, woeful piece of infrastructure that is the face of new India to the world” by Janagrahaa founder Ramesh Ramanathan when it opened five and a half years years ago.

Another critic said:

“The entire [BIAL] airport looks like a block of hollow concrete bricks. Add to it flawed design and bad colour combination and it looks positively aesthetically challenged… The graphic inside gives you the feel of an old government office built without any architectural sense….

“You could easily mistake the first floor of the airport for the Forum Mall. I did not see anything that reflects Indian architecture, anything that represents our core values; or which tells the world that we are no longer a developing nation.”

Sure enough, a joint house committee of the Karnataka legislature too came to similar conclusion: it said the airport was not of international standards and slammed the the multinational corporations for “faulty” design and construction, and “poor quality of workmanship”.

The good news is that BIAL,which was now part of the GVK group after Zurich Airport pulled out,decided to do something about it.

The bad news is the new, expanded, revamped airport looks just as hideous, with nearly no local motif; just a large industrial shed which through it’s increasingly frequent change of ownership gives the faint whiff of a scam no one wants to catch.

Meanwhile, GVK wants to sell a part of its holding. Get the drift?

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: 5+1 questions for Ramesh Ramanathan, R.K. Misra & co

PPP: where public is the puppy of the private

After all, an airport doesn’t open/close every day

Us and them: bricks and mortar vs click and mouse

CHURUMURI POLL: Bangalore airport, a disaster?

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37 Responses to “A BIAL by any other name is still a hideous KGIAL”

  1. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    The worst part of the airport design is that the departure areas look a lot better than the arrival ones, especially international arrival. It looks like a deliberate way to say, “This is what the world will look like as you get out of here” and “Welcome to India/Bengaluru, get used to what it looks like starting right here in the arrival area”.

    I am just glad that we still don’t have to deal with the PWD building that was the HAL airport.

  2. Rohith BR Says:

    Wonder why some people always like to bring up / reiterate the negatives “only” when something in the direction of propagating Kannada culture on Karnataka soil makes news!

  3. Gaampa Says:

    I have travelled my fair bit. Over 200 foreign trips and thousands of domestic travels. Feels like i lived in airports and airplanes half my life. For a intrepid traveller like me, what counts most is the least steps from taxi to plane seat. Bangalore airport shines on that count. Thats what I look for. I don’t need architecture, malls etc to take me to my destination.

  4. Anonymous Guy Says:

    G3S, Isnt that true of any busy interntional airport? When we are getting in the long queues, tired faces, dealing with government officials and baggage makes the airport seem like a bad place.

    I must agree there has been a big improvement in all aspects compared to the old HAL airport. Once we step out it can get hellish, but that is not the fault of the airport…

  5. asha Says:

    This was supervised by our own Naani of Naani Angadi fame (churmuri’s nomenclature) and he was chosen for this post by none other than Somanahalli Kitta…God knows between them how much money they made…Naani when criticized about his shoddy chairmanship resigned his post in a huff..the rest as they say is history..and in all this circus the bangaloreans got royally shafted by the consrtium

  6. Prof. Shastri Says:

    Bengaluru International Airport is indeed very unique.

    First look at the distance of the airport from the city…around 45 kilometers! While all know how people like HD father-son duo have made millions by having this airport absolutely at an insane place, every other international airport in the world that is so far has a high-speed rail network exclusively for such a key airport. Eg: Kaula Lumpur, Dubai, Munich, Amsterdam, Boston, Atlanta, Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt..etc

    I am sure you have travelled through the dangerously horrible road that connects Bangalore city to the airport. Irony, we still call that a highway for which you pay toll too! Complete idiocy?

    GMR is highly profitable, yet for reasons no one can comprehend, GMR owes 35,000 crores to nationalised-Indian Banks! Currently, while each departing domestic passenger pays Rs 265 per head as UDF, an international passenger is charged a steep Rs 1,070. Incidentally, G V Sanjay Reddy, MD of Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) and vice-chairman of the airport’s largest stakeholder, GVK Power and Infrastructure has been quoted as saying that passengers need to actually pay double the current UDF, Viz., User Development Fees!

    Bangalore International Airport has 8 aerobridges, 6 luggage belts and just 1 x-ray machine each, for departure and arrival! You end up standing in longer queues, as the security gates are limited in number. If you were to just compare, Changi Airport has 300 air bridges (for a country with population half of Bangalore), each having a dedicated sitting space for 300 passengers.

    ‘Bengaluru’ International Airport was inaugurated by the ‘socialist’ chief minister Siddaramaiah and billionaire kick-back civil aviation minister Ajit Singh better known as master-fixer of the most controversial Jet Airways-Etihad mega deal.

    Speaking on the occasion, the ‘Socialist’ CM happily said “I have discussed with GVK Reddy (co-chairman of BIAL) and he has readily agreed to put up a beautiful statue of Kempegowda in front of the airport”. He added that “Reddy has also promised to upgrade the VVIP lounge so that ministers can relax before their important flights to Delhi or abroad”.

    Finally, if one can recall, when the Airport was conceptualized, it was informed that it will be modeled after Frankfurt and aims to be a major hub for the south bound travelers and will compete directly with Dubai and New Bangkok Airport.

    For more information on what is arguably recognized as one of the World’s worst International Airports, pls read the link below:

    https://churumuri.wordpress.com/2006/04/24/bangalore-worlds-worst-international-airport/

  7. FirstReality Says:

    This airport is more than good enough compared to the standards we have for rest of the things in the country.
    If it doesn’t make us look like a developed country, the reason may be that we are not one? Did it not occur to the arse who said it?
    There isn’t much problem (unless you compare it to airports in Singapore, hongkong, shanghai, Beijing where the baggage is in by the time you get there) with the airport, the problem is the horror that you find once step of out of the airport.

  8. Vinay Says:

    Look at people like Prof. Shastri here, trying to compare BIAL to Changi and Hong Kong etc.

    Prof. Shastri, it does not matter in the least what the population is. First get Bangalore’s economy up to the size of Singapore, then talk about the number of aerobridges in Changi.

    And need I remind you that the road to the airport (NH7) has nothing to do with BIAL?

    The airport is good enough for Bangalore as of today, considering the air traffic and passenger numbers.

  9. Hedge Says:

    The most appropriate name could have been one among Dr. Rajkumar or Sir M Vishveshwaryya or Purandaradasa or or Kuvempu or or S. L. Bhyrappa or Krishnadevaraya or Tippu Sultan or Sangolli Rayanna or Rani Chenamma or Kanakadasa or Da. Ra. Bendre or Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa or Bhimsen Joshi..etc.

    Sadly to our most corrupt and vote-bank based rulers of today, caste politics is paramount. Naming one of Karnataka’s landmarks as Kempe Gowda Airport is another way to buttress the Vokkaligas!

    After all, Kempegowda was just a just a local chieftain of a village in the tiny old Bangalore of 16th Century, while the nodal central bus stand in the Capital is already named after him. It is important to note that the Bengalaru International Airport is used by everyone from Karnataka and overseas, not just by Bangaloreans where Kannadigas are a small minority!

    To top it all, the much-hyped Industrial shed of hollow concrete bricks, has not an iota of architecture or culture or ethos that Karnataka is so famous for, be it influences from the famed Hoysala architecture or Vijanagar empire or Mysore or Malnad or South Kanara!

    BTW, the GMR run BIAL posted Rs 114 crore net profit in 2012-13. Thanks to hungry Godfather’s in the Congress-I, both at the centre and state, GMR is now planning to double its profits with a steep hike in rentals as well as doubling the already ridiculously high ‘User Development Fees’ that all passengers are forced to pay!

  10. Vijayalakshmi Says:

    @ Prof. Shastri, @ Hegde

    Good and thought provoking points. As a fellow and proud to be a Kannadiga, who often travels within India and Abroad, I have never been able to comprehend as to why the majority among us are docile and have no pride in our culture or architecture or cuisine?

    Whether it is the Auckland Airport or Jakarta or Dubai or Paris or Atlanta or Mauritius or Colombo or Ahmadabad or Cochin, every other International airport built with foresight, will give you a feel of local culture, architecture and ethos apart from an opportunity to shop & eat the jewels of local culture and cuisine.

    @ Vinay

    With due respect, just wondering if you have travelled beyond Kalasipalyam to Majestic to Jayanagar or Yeshwantpur?

    Or ever paid UDF?

    Or ever gone beyond Mumbai or Bangkok?

    No sweat, you are not to be blamed if Ragi Mudde or Curd Rice or Egg Bhurji or ‘by2 tea’ gets you bliss.

    While your ignorance of social, educational and economic growth is not surprising, it is most obvious that you have no clue of the fact that Bangalore is today the third-largest income tax-paying city in India!

    I am afraid, it is ignorant folks like you who will continue to vote for the most corrupt ruling politicians or so called Socialist-Honest CMs, as long as they name key landmarks as Kempegowda or Basavanna or Ambedkar or Rahul Gandhi or some Swami or Imam.

    In the El Dorado of South India, I am sure you will be happy with even a Cowshed or Industrial warehouse as an International Airport in the midst of glitzy high streets, fashionable boutiques, bistros, pubs, 5-star hotels, billionaires, exclusive gated communities, capitation-fee colleges, top-class health resorts, spas, villas, segregated bars and high-end coffee joints.
    BTW, just FYI, this city not only has the highest growth among all metros in India (23%) but also houses 15,000 dollar millionaires and according to the last available govt. reports, Blr contributed a massive 43% of India’s Rs. 144,214 crore (US$ 31 billion!) IT exports in 2006-07.

    Finally, I wonder if you are aware that under pressure by the traveling public, the IATA along with airports regulator AERE in our neighborhood state had rejected the move by GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Group to increase the User Development Fee (UDF) on arriving passengers!

  11. Vijayalakshmi Says:

    @ Prof. Shastri, @ Hegde

    Good and thought provoking points. As a fellow and proud to be a Kannadiga, who often travels within India and Abroad, I have never been able to comprehend as to why the majority among us are docile and have no pride in our culture or architecture or cuisine?

    Whether it is the Auckland Airport or Jakarta or Dubai or Paris or Atlanta or Mauritius or Colombo or Ahmadabad or Cochin, every other International airport built with foresight, will give you a feel of local culture, architecture and ethos apart from an opportunity to shop & eat the jewels of local culture and cuisine.

    @ Vinay

    With due respect, just wondering if you have travelled beyond Kalasipalyam to Majestic to Jayanagar or Yeshwantpur?

    Or ever paid UDF?

    Or ever gone beyond Mumbai or Bangkok?

    No sweat, you are not to be blamed if Ragi Mudde or Curd Rice or Egg Bhurji or ‘by2 tea’ gets you bliss.

    While your ignorance of social, educational and economic growth is not surprising, it is most obvious that you have no clue of the fact that Bangalore is today the third-largest income tax-paying city in India!

    I am afraid it is ignorant folks like you who will continue to vote for the most corrupt ruling politicians or so called Socialist-Honest CMs, as long as they name key landmarks as Kempegowda or Basavanna or Ambedkar or Rahul Gandhi or some Swami or Imam.

    In the El Dorado of South India, I am sure you will be happy with even a Cowshed or Industrial warehouse as an International Airport in the midst of glitzy high streets, fashionable boutiques, bistros, pubs, 5-star hotels, billionaires, exclusive gated communities, capitation-fee colleges, top-class health resorts, spas, villas, segregated bars and high-end coffee joints.
    BTW, just FYI, this city not only has the highest growth among all metros in India (23%) but also houses 15,000 dollar millionaires and according to the last available govt. reports, Blr contributed a massive 43% of India’s Rs. 144,214 crore (US$ 31 billion!) IT exports in 2006-07.

    Finally, I wonder if you are aware that under pressure by the traveling public, the IATA along with airports regulator AERE in our neighborhood state had rejected the move by GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Group to increase the User Development Fee (UDF) on arriving passengers!

  12. Gouri Satya Says:

    The look outside may look grand, but inside it is all bad.The service and facilities there make the airport unfit to be called national, let alone international. Never take wheelchair assistance. unless you want the boys to harass you for money. Once you step in you will experience how crude the service is.

  13. K Laxminarayana Rao Says:

    You cannot equate BIAL to Forum Mall. In Forum Mall you get 100% pure juice in tetra pack, fruits and Indian food but in BIAL First floor shops you can find only get International brand foods and synthetic carbonated beverages. Only Indian item in the first floor is . recharging points for your Laptops, mobiles and other gadgets. You will not find any International plug points. If you have not carried an adopter (International to Indian) you are stuck..

    What is there in a name, if you cannot find anything related to and remember the great personalities. You cannot find anything related to or to remember his majesty Kempe Gowda. What a Shame?

  14. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Prof. Shastri, It isnt like your RSS/BJP government made any improvements to the BIAL. Far from it, it didnt really do anything useful.

  15. the colonel Says:

    What did KG do for airlines??????????????????????

    Any thing???

    Some one said Atlanta airport. This is for all moaners and groaners

    http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2013/11/travel/atl24/?sr=atl24OBplane#

    It’ll take You a year to go through, so you can start again, every year.

    Been to bombay, last month, cannot walk. struggled. people offered help. politelly declined. do not like a human carrying or pushing me. collect luggage. goto taxi stand. sit in. move. no problem.

    regarding wheelcairs in bangalore. people are poor (those who ask for money). people are miseraly (Those who complain and dont give).

    regarding taxis in bangalore. got in to the first taxi. the driver put the luggage in the boot. no talking. just no problem.

    Filth everywhere.

    And kept smiling inside the airport, a lot of happiness around.
    Provided by a small thing called SPARROWS

  16. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    AG,

    I always felt the difference was more stark in BLR.

    As for naming the airport, the best name would have been Venkata Subba Setti International Airport, Bengaluru. V.S.Setti was the first every Indian to fly an airplane, and he was a Mysorean.

    http://www.vayuaerospace.in/2010_issue6/The_pioneers.htm

    http://samharshbangalore.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-mysorean-who-became-indias-first.html

    Or Walchand Hirachand International Airport, Bengaluru. What better way to honor the man who founded HAL?

    The city that claims to be the aviation capital of the country does an awful job of commemorating the history of that industry. This is also visible in the desecration of the Jakkur airfield, one of the historic airfields in our state, by the elevated expressway that has made a large part of the runway unusable. The expressway was built in contravention of regulations regarding structures near airports, but since it is a small airport not used by many people, no one cares.

  17. Vinay Says:

    Vijayalakshmi:

    I suffer idiots, so I will respond to you.

    You need a basic logic 101 class. A comparison was being made between Singapore and Bangalore airports, and the point here is that considering the differences in size of the respective economies, the passenger traffic and the fact that Singapore is a hub for one of the world’s largest airlines, comparing these airports based on just the population, is moronery of the highest order.

    El Dorado of India, %age of income tax paid, number of dollar millionaires – all these statistics are crap when you look at the passenger numbers. You seem to live in your own cocoon, or perhaps you don’t even live in India and are one of those head-in-the-posterior NRIs. At the end of the day, all said and done, Bangalore is still a part of India and has all the associated problems that any Indian city does. When you drive around in Bangalore next time, look around you and see how many people on the road are truly in the “real middle class”, who can afford air travel (or whose jobs might require them to travel by air frequently).

    Before yammering about others’ international exposure on anonymous forums, take a moment to think that there are people who are much more well-traveled and have a much better perspective than you. I work in consulting, and have taken 60 international flights in the last 3 years, 20 of them out of BIAL. For your information, I am a Gold member on Cathay Pacific and have status on a couple of other airlines too. It is people like you with your heads in your posteriors who have no idea of what they are babbling about, and assume that anyone who disagrees with their view must be a “ragi-mudde eating halli guggu with no international exposure”.

    Of course I would love to have an airport as big and grand as Hong Kong or Incheon (Seoul). But you have to understand that based on the current passenger numbers it is just not workable. These asinine comparisons with Singapore and Chicago need to stop.

  18. Nastika Says:

    My personal choice was ‘Krishnadevaraya’, the greatest king ever to rule Karnataka. This would spur interest in at least some travellers to Bangalore in Karnataka history.

    BTW, though I am a frequent traveller, I wouldn’t bother about BIAL now KIAL. Unless its official travel (where my company would pay for UDF, taxi to faraway land & expensive tickets), I skip KIA. For all my personal travel, I take an overnight train out of Bangalore to Madurai, Chennai, Cochin or even Mangalore and travel at half price :)

    Ooops, I let out a secret ;)

    ~*~

  19. Gurukiran Says:

    In view of the controversy ongoing over the proposal to increase the UDF in BIAL which is managed and primarily owned by the GVK Group, let us try and understand the psyche and mentality of these firms and canny-shrewd businessmen.

    GVK Reddy is the head of GVK Group, a Hyderabad-based multi-billion conglomerate with interests in energy, transportation, hospitality and life science among other things. With a thriving, global family business it is no surprise that GVK would throw millions to keep his friends in high circles very happy.

    Consider the recent marriage of Mallika Reddy, granddaughter of GVK Reddy. Hyderabad was host one of the most lavish weddings the south has ever seen. The reportedly Rs 300 crore affair (shocking amount) had high profile VVIP guests, including Mauni Singh, Mukesh Ambani, Chanda Kochhar, Praful Patel and Chandrababu Naidu, being flown to Hyderabad on chartered flights and put up in five-star hotels across the city, like the three Taj-CVK properties – Taj Krishna, Taj Banjara and Taj Deccan.

    Certain wedding invites were accompanied by “a solitaire ring or a Satya Paul or Sabyasachi saree with the invite — an exquisitely carved image of Lord Venkateswara with sweets in a specially designed box. Obviously our black money-fueled, most corrupt politicians and businessmen, always need Lord Venkateswara’s blessings to sleep peacefully!

    The decor of the wedding was done by Bollywood designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla. Billionaire GVK Reddy’s 300-crore circus had hijacked all of Delhi, Hyderabad – and most of Bollywood. No wonder, not a single soul in the ruling party, including big-mouth Digvijay Singh had asked for the tax returns of the people funding the jamboree.

    Well, while the common man using a budget airline to fly to Mumbai or Mangalore or Delhi or Belgaum, helplessly pays the already high UDF at BIAL, overpriced extravaganzas staged by super rich people who can even own Indian airports or ports or oil fields or refineries..etc, leave the rest of us gawking in their wake!

    The black money, bulging-hip Reddy marriage is a jolting reminder of how many of our wealthiest & politically-connected business families remain tightly wedded to the colonial past, thumbing their nose at decades of social change while short-changing and sucking the common man of every single penny! GVK Reddy and the group that runs Blr Airport, ranked #21 on Forbes India’s richest list, is certainly one of them and regretfully will most probably succeed in increasing the UDF that you and I grudgingly pay for a substandard airport.

    Success and financial greed increases greed absolutely! Now the Reddy’s are planning to develop the highly profitable real estate around the airport, thanks to proactive help from none other than CM Siddaramaiah!

    Sanjay Reddy, the NRI son of GVK and heir to the Infrastructure and Coal Mining conglomerate, explains “The smart idea is to develop an ‘airport city’ with work places, homes and social infrastructure for travelling passengers.”

    When asked about the public pressure to make BIAL independent, service-oriented and non-family owned since it is a public service institution where law and order apart from logistics is provided by the Govt, Junior Reddy angrily replied “Currently, there is no plan whatsoever from GVK to divest the company’s stake in BIAL. But we don’t know when the other stakeholders will do so.”

    GVK is renowned to pull strings and dictate terms to almost all the cabinet ministers, especially Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh, Former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Sonia Gandhi’s personal aide Ahmed Patel, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. His key fixer is the notorious Andhra Pradesh MP T. Subbarami Reddy.

    In an interview to First Post in Aug, the 48-year-old young turk Sanjay Reddy, nick-named the Airport Don (his office is a 5-start suite in the Mumbai Airport), said ““Our DNA is different. Our DNA is that we are used to getting into new businesses, understanding those businesses, carefully nurturing and managing the politicians who matter and creating massive wealth out of those businesses” He added “we have proven our skills in leveraging our political contacts. It was easy to pip the Tata-Singapore Airlines bid and snatch the Blr Airport project. It’s not a new strategy. I think we are true entrepreneurs”

  20. ಅನಾಮಿಕ Says:

    @ Vinay

    “I am a Gold member on Cathay Pacific and have status on a couple of other airlines too. I have taken 60 international flights in the last 3 years, 20 of them out of BIAL”

    Well, the post not only explains your mindset but makes it pretty clear why you live in Kalasipalyam and accuse others of having their “heads in your posteriors”

    Thanks for clarifying the obvious! Happy Traveling.

  21. Vinay Says:

    ಅನಾಮಿಕ :

    The only “obvious” thing here is that people who have their heads in their posterior and live in their own cocooned lala world accuse anyone with a differing viewpoint of being “ragi eating halli guggus who live in Kalasipalyam”.

    Begone now, and never again assume that you’re sitting somewhere high up, looking down upon all other participants here. If anything, the cliches that you/Vijaylaxmi have droned out here show a needless arrogance coupled with lack of basic intelligence and analytical skills.

    Careful before making an ass of yourself on public forums.

  22. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Hey, Proud kannadiga Vijayalakshmi/Shastri/Hegde who hates on ‘Ragi Mudde or Curd Rice or Egg Bhurji or ‘by2 tea’?

    What exactly do you want at the Bangalore airport?

    I am not talking about the requirements you may have on the chaotic top taxpayer city that you step into after exiting the airport, but the airport itself.

    What improvements do you have in mind besides not paying a rupee which you would gladly pay in a foreign airport?

    Enlighten us on this rather than digressing on how little non BJP governments have done for the airport.

  23. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Nastika, Yeah your rupee pinching scheme would have made a valuable secret :)

    G3S, Regarding naming after pioneers, yen saar ashtondhu expectationsaa?

  24. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    AG, expectations adroo ide saar….reality antoo aagalla.

  25. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I am missing Vijaylaxmi’s reply to “Kalasipalya” Vinay! :) Vijaylaxmi please reply to Vinay! Show us how we can make KGIAL resonate with local culture!

  26. Vinay Says:

    Doddi Buddi:

    ಅನಾಮಿಕ is none other than VIjaylaxmi. Don’t expect him/her to give any suggestions on how to make KGIAL resonate with local culture. For him/her, locals and local culture are worth looking down upon. After all, why respect ragi-mudde eaters and villagers?

  27. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Not-so-polite Vinay

    I have seen people like Vijaylakshmi who start dreaming about Changi, HK Airport just by passing through these airports! The reality is we are a bunch of assholes who cannot even get the basics right in building roads to reach airports!

    Recently I landed on a Dragon Air flight from HK in our BIAL; I was transported back to HAL Airport with its effing awful small silly luggage carousel, AHs jostling for space and shit! But I was delighted by the duty-free shops which IMHO is manned by polite staff and allow me to pay in Rupees! I am a happy customer. I acn go on but I am delighted that I am in India and I enjoyed immensely my departure lounge experience having copius amounts of KF beer and some lovely chicken and so on!

  28. the colonel Says:

    One more thing.

    The approach road has beautifull gardens.

    May we replace them with pollinating plants.

    Then we will have millions of Butterflies or Flutterbyes

  29. MAHENDRA PRABHU K Says:

    I believe that the overall infra and appeal of the first terminal and the new second terminal of BIAL is just 1:1 for the status of Bangalore/Karnataka. It’s not even 1% better than my expectations. I nvr had great expectations from Hyderabad based GVK Group.

    No negative criticism welcomed here.

  30. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Vinay
    I agree. Anamika is a bit harsh on the local culture. I have had my Indian Passport literally roughed up & squeezed dry by a Korean female immigration officer (who looked like a Japanese porn-star) before she waved me through! Fact is we should inject local culture by having Dosa Delights, Bidadi Thatte Idlis in Bangalore departure lounge as well as MTRs. May be if Empire wants to pitch in thats nice too. By Shiva and Rama we are effing localize the bloody Gowdra airport. An MSIL shop selling arrack. Khodays Rum is a great way to promote local culture!

  31. Vijayalakshmi Says:

    @vinay & others

    I have been busy traveling (just came back from DXB) & also with my sons..etc.

    Apologies…no time for detailed explanations….

    The topic is arguable but the facts remain while the merits of the case is obvious….

    No of offense meant to anyone ignorant or aware, but if one can be happy with such substandard infrastructure than everyone is to blame, especially the people in power who decide, execute & manage the airport.

    Regarding local culture or ethos, less said the better.

  32. Gaby Says:

    As a mental health professional, I am deeply curious about VijayAlakshmi’s resentment of “local culture”.

  33. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Guru Vijayalakshmi, Thumba boring explanationu. Maja sikkllila. When you get some time off your exceedingly busy schedule, please explain your views on local culture or ethos. And try to reply to ‘slum’ Vinay’s concerns.
    These are important matters after all.

  34. Faldo Says:

    Some of the comments here seem to indicate that this topic has become highly contentious. While it is interesting to read about the different points of view written in colorful language, I would appeal to our friends not make the comments too personal. “Kachadidare ili-gala hage kachchada bedi, huli-galu aadidante kachchadi!”

    My own experience in KGIAL has been that, by and large departure is a quick and pleasant affair while some improvement can go into making arrivals a better experience. Especially the wait to get their baggage can seem endless for international travelers. To put this in perspective, however the situation for arrivals is not much better in other major Indian airports such as Mumbai or Delhi. In Mumbai airport often on arrival, one is accosted by all kinds of people wanting to ‘help’ you. In Delhi it seems to take longer to get out of the airport and get to a taxi.
    Comparing KGIAL with some international airports which handle passenger traffic in excess of 45-50 million annually would not be apt.

  35. Vijayalakshmi Says:

    @ Anonymous Guy , Vinay, Doddi Buddi, Dr. and a few others…

    At the outset, I don’t belong to ANY PARTY nor do I claim any caste benefits…etc. I do travel a lot but am not any Gold flyer….so pardon my ignorance.

    More importantly, It is indeed tragic that we Kannadigas, tend to get politics and caste into every major discussion…..Even when it comes to outsiders openly bleeding and looting our state’s infrastructure!

    “Thumba boring explanationu. Maja sikkllila…”

    Not all but some of you ought to be absolutely ashamed that an intellectual conversation (eg: Prof. Shastri or Hedge’s views) that this blog has been so famous for: has now been reduced to a cheapo-mentality driven, chauvinism-oriented pleasure ride!

    Well, while your egos are paramount and you are so unashamedly Cong-I or the pseudo-socialist CM oriented, I hope that good wisdom prevails.

    Finally, I can only hope that your conscience will kindly avoid sniping around just for the fun of it!

  36. Vijayalakshmi Says:

    @ Gaby,

    Seriously speaking are you really a ‘mental health professional’?
    Apologies for asking since your post is shocking.

    I was all for local culture, cuisine and ethos AND NOT AGAINST IT!

    Anyway, pls let me know if you can get Maddur Vadae or Mangalore Pathrode or Davagenre Benae Dosa or genuine Jain food or the famous sea-food from Mangalore..etc.

    Fact is that you can’t even eat a propoer masala dosae or Raggi Mudde or a simple Rava Iddli before departing or on arriving in Blr! (BTW, these are provided free-of-cost to all politicians and ministers in the rather well-hidden VVIP lounge behind the escalator that takes you to emigration)

    I am sure the ox-character’s in this blog will ask if coconut thadi is available too? Perhaps a good idea for the most prominently-located Kingfisher bar.

    Real Truth is sad and weakening yet frighteningly real. BTW, I am no AAP or BJP fan…just a neutral citizen.

  37. Anand Sankar Says:

    Among airports in India, I have found Bangalore the most easy to use and brutally simply functional. It delivers what it is supposed to. Airports are after all businesses, in an environment where airports are bleeding money, we must appreciate the work done.

    I don’t know how many have spent a night in the airport departure. The roof is home to thousands of sparrows and they soothingly chirp away through the night. Thats feng shui enough for me.

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