Due to corruption and poor monitoring of agencies concerned, passengers are increasingly becoming victims of different kinds of harassment at Chittagong airport, said a report of Transparency International Bangladesh on Thursday.
From entrance to boarding lounge of Shah Amanat International Airport Chittagong, some officials of Civil Aviation Authority, immigration, customs, ansar and different private airlines collect money illegally from the passengers, the TIB study found.
Sacheton Nagorik Committee (SONAK)-TIB revealed the findings of the report titled ‘Shah Amanat International Airport, Chittagong: Challenges of Good Governance in ensuring passengers service and the solution’ at a press conference held at the Chittagong Press Club.
TIB research and policy wing deputy programme manager Zafar Sadek Chowdhury said though in comparison to the year 2000, the number of passengers has increased 4.94 times and flight number increased 3.15 times in the year 2017, there has been no infrastructural development at all.
The infrastructure, developed in 2000 under ‘Chittagong Airport Development Project’ and supposed to provide service to six lakh passengers, were now serving 12.5 lakh passengers, said Zafar.
Also, the airport was being running by the organogram from 1988 and more than 24 per cent machines were not functional, he said.
Zafar said that by hiding goods of passengers, some officials demanded tips ranging from Tk 50-1000.
Middle men in parking area charged extra fare while some officials took Tk 200-500 to allow passengers carrying sharp object -scissors, iron and food including dry fish, fruits, cooked food and jackfruit.
As there was no system to fill up the departure card, some officials charged Tk 50-100 from passengers to provide this service illegally.
The passengers, who go to Middle Eastern countries as workers on visit visas, almost always paid Tk 30,000-35,000 for their immigration.
By ignoring excise duty some customs officials charge between Tk 2,000-14,000 illegally to allow restricted product-tobacco, alcohol, TV, gold bar, mobile and sari of the passengers.
To end the harassment, TIB recommended 13 points including infrastructural development, increase in manpower, collection of pending money of Civil Aviation Authority, purchase of new boarding bridge, increase new check-in counter, activate adequate immigration booth.
Other recommendations include expansion of warehouse area of lost and found items, setting up information desk, stop harassment of passengers through checking etc.
TIB Chittagong Chapter president Akhter Kabir Chowdhury, member Md Delwar Hossain Majumder, research and policy wing programme manager Juliat Rosetti were present at the press conference.
Airport manager Sarwar-e-Zaman said they were aware of the TIB report and has taken move to improve services as per their 13-point recommendation.
Shah Amanat, the second largest international airport after Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, is being operated and maintained by the Civil Aviation Authority.