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State Prevents Flyers From Being Fleeced at Airports


After numerous complaints, authorities directed Pune and three other airports to appoint compliance officer

The state government has finally paid heed to a spate of complaints from the public about being overcharged at the airports. The state’s legal metrology department has directed the Pune airport, along with three other airports in the state, including Mumbai, to appoint a compliance officer to ensure shops inside these airports don’t charge more than the MRP printed on the items.

During a meeting on Tuesday, the legal metrology department directed all stakeholders, which included officials of Pune Airport along with those from Nagpur, Aurangabad and the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) to work out a mechanism to ensure that passengers don’t end up overpaying henceforth.

Additional director general of police Amitabh Gupta, who is also the controller of legal metrology, told Mirror, “I hope that in the future such practice of fleecing travellers is completely stopped. The overcharging was in the range of 100 to 200 per cent of MRP, apart from cases of dual MRP. This step will primarily protect consumers. The very concept of paying more than MRP at premium locations is faulty and needs to be corrected.”

An inspection conducted at the Pune airport, revealed that the May Pee Kay Hospitality and Chicago Crust were selling packaged commodities at a higher MRP. The Pune LMO immediately penalised the stalls to the tune of Rs 41,321and further registered a case against them. The department last month also conducted a surprise inspection at the Mumbai International Airport and found a restaurant and three shops selling packaged goods at rates higher than the MRP.

Shyamlal Goyal, principal secretary (food, civil supplies, and consumers department), Maharashtra, said that all airports were directed to make provisions in the lease agreement of the airport stores to ensure that there would be no overcharging. “The agreement would mention that if any store was found overcharging or using dual MRP, the lease agreement would be terminated,” he said.

The meeting came on the heels of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), the apex consumer court judgment stating that there cannot be two MRPs for an object as it is a clear violation of the Legal Metrology (packaged commodities) Rules, 2011and Legal Metrology Act, 2009.

Furthermore, in a recent circular issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the department of consumer affairs has directed all state controllers of Legal Metrology Organisation (LMO) to take immediate action in the interest of consumers on hotels, restaurants, malls, airports that indulge in dual MRP or overcharging.

According to officials of the Legal Metrology department, they had received several complaints that restaurants and vendors at the state’s airports were charging more than the MRP for packaged commodities.

Officials have also appealed to the flyers to dial 022-22886666 or write to dclmms_complaints@ yahoo.com if they had been overcharged at the airports.

█ I hope that in the future such practice of fleecing travellers is completely stopped. The overcharging was in the range of 100 to 200 per cent of MRP, apart from cases of dual MRP


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