Thursday, November 01, 2018

Calcutta airport ‘tug’ at trolley torment

Calcutta: A pair of battery-operated tugs designed to tow away trolleys has reduced the airport’s dependence on contracted workers notorious for shirking and ensured that passengers do not have to fret over finding the racks empty during rush hour.

Before the tugs were deployed, one each in the departure and arrival areas, trolleys would be manually retrieved. But passengers would often find the racks empty and trolleys scattered all over the place.

“The two tugs have been in use post-Durga Puja and they do make the trolley-retrieval process more efficient. Two more are expected soon,” an airport official said on Wednesday.

This isn’t the first time that tugs are being used at the airport for trolley retrieval. Five of them were damaged and never repaired.

For the state-run airport, a task as basic as trolley retrieval has been a challenge for as long as anyone can remember. Complaints about passengers not finding trolleys when they need them did not end even after the airport moved to the new integrated terminal. Maintenance of trolleys has also been a peeve point.

Six facility management companies have handled the trolley-retrieval contract at different times over the past 11 years, but there has been little change in the quality of service because the employees have remained the same. Trolley workers backed by unions have been known to act as touts, offering to help passengers move their luggage for a fee.
01/11/18 Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph
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