Fed up with ‘exorbitant’ airfares to and from Mizoram’s lone airport in Aizawl and after their efforts all these years to get a proper government intervention in the matter failed to yield any positive result, lawyers of the hill State have finally approached the court of law.
The Mizoram Bar Association (MBA) has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the Aizawl Bench of the Gauhati High Court on 19th November seeking legal panacea. The PIL was filed against Government of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Airports Authority of India (AAI), Government of Mizoram, Mizoram Civil Aviation Wing’s Principal Consultant Wing Commander Lalzawma, and two airlines – Air India and Jet Airways – operating in the State blaming them for them for much higher airfare than other sectors in the country.
The petitioners contended that airfares were much higher than other sectors, causing extreme financial hardships to the people of land-locked Mizoram. They said the air distance between Mizoram’s Lengpui airport and Guwahati was shorter than the distance between Guwahati and Imphal. But the Lengpui-Guwahati airfare is much higher than the latter. The MBA also lamented that additional flights were never arranged by the airlines during festive seasons as is done in other parts of the country.
And the lawyers have reason to feel aggrieved. If local travel agents are to be believed, the airfare between Guwahati and Aizawl is generally higher than between Kolkata and Aizawl though the distance between the latter is much higher. And they attribute it to the monopoly service of Jet Airways, which only operates in the sector.