Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Airport : Enter Through Gate 3, look left !!

Yesterday, we shifted the Financial Hub Kiosk at Kolkata Airport from the International Departure Area to Domestic Departure Area. We have stocked several brochures on Eco Park, Rabindra Tirtha etc. There is a visitors' Book too. We are also trying to provide other relevant information in addition to those on Financial Hub. Many queries are being received, I was informed, on availability of residential flats / plots and so we have asked Sapoorji Palloonji to provide with some brochures. Here is a photo when I visited it yesterday at the Domestic Departure terminal near Gate 3.
Kiosk near Gate 3 Departure:
I plan to sit there for some time on 31st Aug on way to Mumbai
for Road Show on 1st Sep 2014 on Financial Hub
* * *
On my way back, I took the following photograph. This is the underside of the turning flyover near Haldiram on VIP road. There were rather untidy looking tea stalls and vendors when we - some time ago - called for bids from advertising firms as to whether they could tidy up the soace in co-operation with the existing vendors, use the space for advertisement, and pay us some revenue. One firm - based outside Kolkata - won the bid and I discussed with him his experience. Gaining the trust of the local vendors was a big challenge, he said. Then there were intricate problems like changing the position of a bench which could divert away customers from one stall to the next. The sunflowers, he said, were his recent addition: these will light in the night too, he said. I wonder if we can replicate this win-win model of making Kolkata a tiny tiny bit better.

* * *
Times of India dt 25.8.2014

Times of India dt Aug 2014


  1. Kiosk at the domestic departure section is a good idea.
    However this should be after the security check-in region.
    A person coming for departure would rush for boarding pass and security check-in and then after the formalities, he / she is usually interested in looking around.

    However I feel that a kiosk at the domestic arrival section is also needed.
    A person coming from outside , who gets interested, can at least query about this with the authorities during his / her stay in Kolkata.
    Instead we are expecting that he / she will go back to his hometown / place of work and then query.

  2. The idea of roping in ad agencies to camouflage the ugly tea stalls is really great ! It is unfortunate that these illegal structures on public property cannot be demolished due to political compulsions. We should really focus on possible measures to prevent this menace of public area grabbing. Beautification with landscaped gardens is one possibility. Provision of paid parking spots is another.

    At the same time, pedestrian safety is important - so some provision of footpaths should be there. Lack of footpaths not only puts a pedestrian in possible harm's way, but slows down traffic too.

    If our govt is really serious about beautifying the city and keeping it clean, the first step should be to prevent the nuisance of grabbing public areas to set up dirty rickety stalls. The authorities seem to be doing this successfully in certain areas of the city, (like Alipur). This is the model that should be replicated all over the city. Also, to provide the "common man" cheaper options of having tea, some mobile carts selling tea etc. might be allowed. But permanent structures should definitely be banned.

  3. Footpath grabbing ( forget removal of these illegal structures) is still happening under the active leadership of the local political leaders.

    A thumbs up to the model that you have incorporated.

  4. In Thailand, hawkers have bikes attached to their small mobile vans..they come during business hours and vanish by night..also a uniformity in the look and feel of their vans have to be maintained to align with the look of the city..

    But in the first place..we should not allow encroachment initially..flyovers when being built..the space beneath can be best used as parking lots or eateries which pay tax to govt...such spaces if gone..its a loss of revenue also for the govt.

  5. The Govt of India, in May 2014,promulgated the new law called the Street Vendors Act.