By RV Silvanus
It was a few days after Tribhuvan International Airport was named the third worst airport in the world when I learnt of my friend’s mistreatment at Bharatpur Regional Airport. Whether it is regional or international, it seems airports all over Nepal are the same — mismanaged and filled with corrupt staff.
My friend, Paul Miller, an American was boarding a Yeti Airlines flight to Kathmandu. At the security check prior to boarding, he was frisked by the personnel on duty. The security officer then opened Paul’s hand luggage and came across a bag of chocolates and pens. My friend who suffers from diabetes always has sweets, chocolates with him for times when his sugar level gets low.
nstead of putting the things back into Paul’s bag, the personnel put them into his own, rubber-stamped the sticker on Paul’s bag and asked him to go. Earlier, Paul had seen the same police pocket a packet of gum from another traveller.
I am sure Miller is not the first traveller that this security personnel has harassed. Travellers are frequently harassed by security personnel not just at the airports but even on roads for no apparent reasons. Are we forgetting our philosophy of treating guests as gods? Do the security officials plan to open a shop with all the robbed goods? How can he enjoy those treats knowing he took it from someone else forcibly? Is his job to provide security or harass travellers?
It is the taxpayers’ money that goes into paying him, now his activities have brought shame to all Nepalis. Hope that this case will alert Nepal Police, Civil Aviation Authority, CIAA and bring them to work together to better manage Bharatpur Airport. Such misuse of authority should be punished.
Translated by Nepali Times 31 Oct – 6 Nov 2014 #730 from MySansar.com