October 29, 2018: Air passengers of Tripura are facing serious problem owing to meteoric rise in prices of air tickets – especially, patients are the worst affected. The situation is turning critical with every passing day. Tickets for Agartala-Kolkata and Agartala-Guwahati air route for next couple of days are either not available or prices are unbelievably high, even if few are available.
At 1AM night on October 29, prices of Agartala-Kolkata air tickets were around Rs 8000 and only one ticket was available at that point of time. Normally air tickets moved between Rs 2300 to Rs 2800.
Though the situation became unbearable there was no official communication from the state government as to what steps were taken by the authorities to address the crisis. It seemed the concerned departments and authorities either failed to grasp the gravity of the situation or just preferred to remain a silent spectator sans any intervention. All the media – Print, electronic and web media are highlighting plight of air passengers in vain so far.
Resentment among the people is palpable and roles of concerned authorities at State and Centre are coming under scanner. It is high time that Government comes up with a plausible solution to meteoric price rise of air tickets. People of Tripura – despite improvement in Railways – are heavily depended on airways.
According to informed sources, prices of air tickets soar high, mainly because of two reasons – low cost SpiceJet had already stopped its operations in Agartala recently. This made another low cost carrier Indigo the lone player in Agartala. Adding woes, crisis spiked after Indigo too decided to reduce its number of flights to and from Agartala.
As the state government stand mute spectator and airlines were shooting the ticket price to the sky at their free will, common people of the state came to the receiving end. Worst sufferers were patients who needed immediate medical attention outside the state and the students who had come home during puja days—they could not return to their respective institutions due to the price and dearth of the air tickets.
Usually for a stretcher-bound patient, six tickets are needed – that included the attendants and a doctor. But the sky rocketing air fare and also crisis of the tickets it has become impossible for the patients to go outside state for treatment. Some tourists were also reported to have got stuck here for the last few days.