Saturday, May 20, 2017

When Air India itself was ' illegally' made to pay Rs 2 cr by airport parking lot contractor

Mumbai: Not just the public, even Air India has been illegally charged vehicle entry fees at the Mumbai International Airport. It has emerged that the national carrier, over a period of four years, was made to pay Rs 2 crore towards ‘entry charges’ when such fees don’t even exist.

The matter came to light, ironically, when the airport parking lot contractor moved court seeking his ‘dues’ from the firm roped in by Air India to ferry its employees to and from the airport.
The Dindoshi sessions court, while ruling in favour of the transporter contracted by Air India, said the airport parking lot contractor was supposed to charge vehicles only for parking, and not for entering the premises. The Air India contracted transporter, Buthello Travels, has now issued the parking lot contractor, Mahesh Sunny Enterprises Ltd, a legal notice claiming Rs 2.2 crore with 18% interest per annum.

According to the case details, Buthello, which made at least 14 trips to the airport every day on behalf of Air India, paid a fixed amount of Rs 3.55 lakh a month to Mahesh Sunny Enterprises towards entry fees, and claimed this amount from Air India.

However, after the inauguration of Terminal 2 (T2) in January 2014, Air India stopped paying entry fees to Buthello saying it was a public road. All these years, before T2 was inaugurated, the entry to the airport was through a small bridge, where staff of Mahesh Sunny Enterprises would be stationed to collect entry fees.

When Buthello stopped paying entry fees, Mahesh Sunny management filed a complaint alleging cheating with the local court, which was dismissed. The contractor then approached the sessions court to review the order.
20/05/17 Sunil Baghel & Sharmeen Hakim/Mumbai Mirror