Monday, 8 October 2012

Bhadra International Helps Infra-structure Development, But without Fanfare

The airport was Kolkata. The night was dark in the month of August, 2011. The atmosphere was full of expectation, but very little nervousness for Bhadra International’s well-trained Cargo Handlers. The reason was simply the size of the cargo. The mammoth cargo was for the construction of Ampara dam in Uttarakhand. But Bhadra Cargo Handlers had done that before.

A Russian Antonov aircraft, which is used to transport oversized cargo across the world, was scheduled to touch down with heavy engineering equipment from China late night. The freighter was bringing gigantic steel frames for the under-construction Ampara dam in Uttarakhand, the second one after the first was brought by the same aircraft on July 13.

Anup Chowdhury who heads the ground handling operations of Bhadra International at Kolkata airport narrated the story. "The 226-ft long, 68-ft-wide Flywell Airways plane with 240-ft wing span, was carrying super-heavy cargo requiring 100 tonne crane to unload." The private operator, Bhadra International, took over the import section of the cargo terminal on December 20, 2010, and the import section on Thursday, August 11, 2011.

Acknowledging that handling the mammoth plane with its giant cargo was a big challenge, Chowdhury said the operations on July 13 had provided invaluable experience to the 300-odd men in the Bhadra team.
Bhadra International is now handling all airlines that transport cargo - Emirates, Lufthansa, Air India, Air Asia, Biman Bangladesh, China Eastern, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Qatar Airways and also Jade.

Although under a new policy, Bhadra International has a clear mandate to provide Ground-handling services for passenger flights also (along with national carrier Air India), it is yet to get the go-ahead from Airports Authority of India (AAI) following resistance from private carriers and unions, who are creating all kind of hurdles in the implementation of the AAI policy enacted by the country’s esteemed parliament several years ago.