BENGALURU:The last day of Aero India 2015 witnessed humongous crowds who thronged the venue despite the heat. The attendance on Sunday was around 1.4 lakh as against 1.2 lakh on Saturday. From February 18-20, almost 80,000 people witnessed the show.
The road leading to the venue from Mekhri Circle was choc-a-bloc with traffic and it only worsened from Hebbal flyover.
Those who had passes for the air display viewing area (ADVA) were the worst affected as the road leading to it was packed. The signage was not clearly visible. Due to this, several people reached the main gate and demanded to be let in, only to be sent back by the organisers. The Coffee Day Junction, Hebbal, Hunasemaranahalli and other areas witnessed a lot of congestion.
“I had no idea that there is a separate road leading to the ADVA. I followed the flow of the traffic, and since I was in the middle of the road, I couldn’t see the signs placed for traffic diversions. They did not let me enter through the main gate. I had to go back and take a U-turn.... By the time I came back in the traffic, it was almost 11 am, and I had to miss the morning session,” said an upset Vishwanath Gowda, who had come for the show along with his spouse and two children.
With crowds swelling each minute, security personnel manning the frisking areas looked clueless about how to manage the sea of visitors. A Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) guard said, “Thank god today is the last day.”
Security personnel could not check the photo ID cards of all the visitors. In most cases, they just asked for the tickets and allowed people to get in.
“Nobody looked at my ID though I was holding it in my hand,” said Madhuri, a visitor.
Aero India : Snippets of Day-5
MoD active on social media
During the course of the Air Show, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which organised the event, was very active on social media sites, especially Twitter. An official said around 100 tweets were sent during the period of five days. “The tweets reached more than a thousand people, while the maximum number of tweets were about the Tejas (Light Combat Aircraft) and the Sarang helicopter aerobatics team of the India Air Force,” said an official.
Cricket Diverts Attention
As India-South Africa World Cup cricket match was also underway, many people were seen checking their phone for updates. Pramod Shetty, a visitor, said it was unfortunate that the last day of the air show coincided with the cricket match. “... As India batted first, I missed out a part of the show. I will stay for the afternoon session too, so that I watch the show,” he said.
Garbage which lay strewn was a huge problem at the Air Force Station on Sunday. With vendors selling everything from boiled corn to ice-creams, the entire area outside the exhibition space was full of empty water bottles, paper cups, plastic wrappings and the like. In terms of food waste, around 7.5 tonnes of waste was generated till Saturday evening. Abhishek Gupta, managing director of Bengaluru-based Reddo Natura Private Limited, which was in charge of converting food waste into compost, said, “Around 10.5 tonnes of garbage is what we’re looking at by the end of the show on Sunday evening”.
SU-30 and Rafale a Huge Draw
When Sukhoi-30 aircraft took off, all eyes were glued to the sky. Children were seen covering their ears. “This is an awesome aircraft. All these days, I kept seeing pictures of the planes on the internet and in the newspapers... Finally, I have seen the Sukhoi in action, and it is beautiful,” said Ramesh Swamy, who works in an IT firm. France’s Rafale fighter was another attraction. The aircraft, which had been performing on all the days of the show was also on a static display. Visitors were seen clicking selfies with the ground staff of the aircraft.