CPI(M) MP for affordable food stalls at international airports

Mumbai Airport
New Delhi, July 20: A CPI(M) MP has asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to take steps to open affordable food outlets at international airports for poor passengers.

Rajya Sabha MP K N Balagopal said once checked-in, low-income passengers are not in a position to afford to buy necessary food items or drinks like tea and coffee inside the airport "in view of the prohibitory price tag".

Noting that air travel is not a luxury, the Kerala MP said the higher prices of essential food items and drinks make these "unaffordable" for a semi-skilled and unskilled labourer travelling abroad, particularly to West Asia, for a job.

"It is a fact that such people are being recruited in bulk by agents and sent to foreign countries. One can see, the pathetic situation of labourers, who are mostly illiterates, approaching the coffee shops inside the security area and withdrawing themselves after hearing the price of tea, coffee and sandwiches," Balagopal said.

He said in the name of economic viability and profitability of the PPP partner, "we should not lose the basic concepts of humanity".

"The poor who are compelled to travel by air for their bread, are also stakeholders of our development. "I request the Civil Aviation Ministry to take steps to open a few food counters serving food items at an affordable price and placement of proper signboards to help the low-income passengers," Balagopal said.


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