Rourkela: Resentment is brewing among passengers who were looking forward to the much-awaited air connectivity between Rourkela-Kolkata, as their hopes dashed with flight service getting cancelled due to late operating times.
Nearly 46 passengers who had booked their tickets for Bhubaneswar -Rourkela-Kolkata and 51 of them for Rourkela- Bhubaneswar-Kolkata were left disheartened and had to take train after the flight service got cancelled due to inordinate delay by over three hours at Jharsuguda stop here today. While this has triggered anger among the passengers, questions are being raised on the delay in installation of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and poor response from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) despite repeated reminders from the State government in this regard.
As per reports, the ATR-72 flight of Alliance Air was selected for the Rourkela-Kolkata route. However, the aircraft also commutes between Kolkata and Mizoram and its timings often get rescheduled due to weather conditions. As this results in delays, it subsequently disrupts the operational timing of the flight on the Kolkata-Jharsuguda-Bhubaneswar-Rourkela-Bhubaneswar-Kolkata route as well.
Due to this, flight services on this route had been cancelled twice in September and now once again today due to neglect by the airport authorities and Alliance Air.
In July, Odisha government’s Principal Secretary of Commerce and Transport Department Usha Padhee had written to the Civil Aviation Ministry regarding the ILS installation, master planning, land and other infrastructural support at the airport. However, there has not been any progress in this regard till now.
Official sources said the AAI authorities are planning to visit Rourkela airport in third week of October and if things go as planned, the ILS set up may take another six months.