GUWAHATI, Aug 19 - Attracting tourists from across the globe may appear to be on the top of the State government’s agenda, but the ground reality of the ‘Awesome Assam’ campaign may well leave the tourists miffed the moment they land in Guwahati. At least the early morning sights encountered by them on the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport campus managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) indicate so.
Unbefitting of an international airport, the LGBI Airport, which is the primary international airport of the entire North East India, has apparently become a grazing area for ruminant animals. Right in front of the entry/exit gate, passengers are greeted with cowdung and stray cattle moving freely, leaving them disgusted.
Some very recent pictures making the eyesore evident on the LGBI Airport campus have even shown the cattle moving freely and having a leisurely morning walk, while the on-duty staff, apparently in deep slumber, were nowhere to be seen. This, certain quarters contend, also amounts to a serious security breach.
Worse, some of the cattle were seen discharging excreta making a mockery of the existing security, safety and hygiene management right in the passage area.
Giving an account of the embarrassing situation they had to face after reaching the LGBI Airport recently, some visibly perturbed passengers said that they had a tough time outside the main departure and arrival gate after they saw an unhygienic and annoying environment – akin to an unmanned cattle grazing field.
“It is a routine scene at the LGBI Airport in the morning hours. The stray cattle reach as close as the entry and exit gate of the main building of the airport. Nobody bothers to drive them away. It stinks,” said a frequent flier, who encountered the deplorable state of affairs.
“How can stray cows and for that matter any animal, move so freely in a sensitive zone like airport. What kind of impression do the authorities concerned want to give to the tourists or anyone travelling to this part of the world,” wondered another passenger.
“We may have the biggest face to brand us as a tourist destination, but until and unless we do not improve on our way of functioning, nothing would help,” a Guwahati-based trader said.
An official of the LGBI Airport when contacted, said the matter would be looked into and responsibility fixed if any lapse is found.