With walkalator not in place, passengers will have to walk between terminals

While the walkalator is nowhere close to becoming functional, the battery cars at Chennai airport too may soon be a thing of the past.

This summer, passengers are in for a long walk in the airport as battery operated golf carts — a free service that shuttles passengers between the two terminals — will soon be withdrawn.

Plans to increase rent from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 11,000 per month and harassment by a few officials of Airports Authority of India (AAI) are some of the reasons why the golf cart service will be withdrawn, said a senior official of Carrieall Car Pvt. Ltd, the firm that runs the service.

“We recently lost the advertisement for our cars. It was our primary source of revenue. We can easily find another advertiser but we decided to withdraw the service owing to harassment by a few AAI officials,” he said. Airport officials declined to comment.

There are about a dozen vehicles with varying seating capacity currently operating at the airport and they ferry about 2,500 passengers a day. These carts transport passengers between the departure halls of new domestic and international terminals and from the new domestic arrival hall to the lift that takes the passengers to new international departure hall.

Had the walkalator been installed, passengers may not have had to depend on the golf carts.

Though there were plans to install a walkalator to connect the new terminals, there are no signs of it becoming functional, airport sources said. “There has been a delay for a while due to various reasons, one of them being the on-going Chennai Metro Rail work inside the airport premises. We will soon call for tenders and begin work,” an AAI official said.