Airports ready,but how to get there?Bangalore, H’bad


Airports ready, but how to get there?

       Bangalore: March 2008 will see the unveiling of two state-of-the-art international airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore, two of India’s fastest growing cities and rivals for the crown of IT hotspots.

     But the question is: How do you get there?

      This also means the existing airports in both cities will shut down, effectively doubling or even tripling commute times for passengers to these new air strips. And, that is where a tussle is brewing among developers, governments, air transport operators and, of course, passengers.

       At the heart of the simmering impasse is the poor connectivity to these new airports, located kilometres away from city centres. And the state governments haven’t helped matters by not speeding up work on linking these hubs to the city centres.

      As things stand, commute times in both cities to these new air hubs range from one-and-a-half to three hours. That has left many stakeholders fuming.

     In both cities, there is a rising public demand that the existing airports be allowed to continue operations until better connectivity to the new airports is in place, but the bipartite agreement doesn’t permit that.

        Several prominent citizens in both these cities have argued that the government should not have agreed to such a clause, but then we need to understand that for the investors’ consortium, setting up an airport is a business and not a social responsibility.

      It is because the government has failed to fulfill its responsibility that private players have come in. And if they make a few bucks out of the deal, so be it.

       Lopsided priorities and lack of planning have led to this impasse. While planning and executing these airport projects, the government obviously overlooked the question of connectivity. It’s like building a mega apartment complex without providing for the elevator, or constructing a bridge without approach roads.

      What stopped the respective state governments from thinking about the approach roads then?  And both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments should take the rap for missing out on this.

      Another major concern for passengers is the user development fee. BIAL has sent a proposal to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry seeking to levy a development fee of Rs 675 on outgoing domestic travellers and Rs 955 on international travellers.

Source: P.Venugopal (India Syndicate)

RTI:Why is the Indian Govt afraid to open files on Netaji ?


Why is the Indian Govt afraid to open files on Netaji ?

       It is an intriguing fact that the governmeny of India has never been forthcoming in relation to the last days of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.       

      Sixty years after independance the public is still being denied accesss to all documents.

      So what if the names of foreign countries are mentioned in those files? In case any foreign government has been involved in any act against the interest of a Indian hero is the public not entitled to know?

      Or is it that the government of India did not take adequate actions to bring the hero home?

      Who is the government trying to protect?

Extracts

CIC asks PMO to make public list of 29 files on Netaji

New Delhi: Rejecting the PMO’s refusal to provide a list of classified files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked it to make public a list of 29 such files.The Commission’s decision came after the PMO produced before it 33 classified files on the revolutionary leader.

It, however, exempted four related files as they had reference to foreign states.

Acting on an RTI application of ‘Mission Netaji’ – a Delhi-based research trust – challenging the PMO’s refusal to make public its classified files on Netaji, the CIC had, in its order of January 25, asked the latter to produce in a sealed cover a list of classified files for its perusal.

The Prime Minister’s Office while declining to produce the list of the classified files had earlier said that divulging their contents could affect India’s sovereignty and relations with foreign nations.

Perusing through the files as produced by the PMO, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said four of the 33 classified files had a reference to foreign nations. Therefore, the remaining 29 files should be given.

In its order passed yesterday, the CIC also noted that out of the 29 files, seven were classified “top secret,” three “confidential” while the rest were marked “secret.” Apart from the 33 files, the PMO also informed the Commission about two recently de-classified files.

“Under the circumstances, the PMO will provide a list of the 29 remaining files in addition to the two recently de-classified files, and list their titles,” Habibullah said while directing the PMO’s information officer Amit Agrawal to provide the list within 10 days to Anuj Dhar, a Mission Netaji functionary.