The latest row was sparked when the Maharashtra government decided to extend its health insurance scheme to 865 border villages in Karnataka.
The latest tension between the two states arose after the Maharashtra government announced that it would allocate an additional Rs 54 crore to its health insurance scheme, so that the benefits could be extended to the border villages in Karnataka that Maharashtra claims. CM Bommai urged the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government to withdraw its order on implementing the health insurance scheme in the villages on Karnataka’s side of the border. ”Several Gram Panchayats and Taluks (on Maharashtra’s side of the border) have made resolutions seeking to join Karnataka, as they are not getting justice in Maharashtra,” he said.
CM Bommai warned against dredging up border issues, suggesting that it could backfire against Maharashtra. He also indicated that Karnataka could announce similar schemes or programmes in the border regions as well. Karnataka opposition leaders DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah also criticised the Maharashtra government’s move, and called for CM Bommai’s resignation for “having miserably failed to protect the interests of Karnataka and Kannadigas.”
In a security lapse, passengers on a Sri Lankan Airlines flight (UL713) from Colombo to Bengaluru were taken to the domestic arrival area instead of the international arrivals without going through immigration. The incident, which occurred on March 17, has raised serious questions about airport security and safety measures. According to sources, the passengers were taken to the domestic arrival area of Terminal 1 in two buses, after the flight landed at 2:30am on March 17.
Only when they arrived at the baggage belt did they notice that the name Sri Lankan Airlines was not displayed on the screen. Upon inquiry, airport personnel were alerted and it became known that no immigration procedures had been carried out. “We reached out to airport personnel asking if there had been any mistake,” a passenger said. Terminal 1 handles both international and domestic flights.
Alarmed, the passengers contacted airport personnel, which led to the airline personnel realising that no immigration procedures were carried out. Passengers were subsequently made to wait for the next two hours to clear immigration but some passengers who did not have luggage may have left the airport without clearance. “There were people with no luggage and they could have easily left the airport,” a passenger said.
Furthermore, three foreign passengers who had a connecting flight were left stranded without proper immigration clearance and had to wait for the issue to be resolved before they could proceed with their journey.
When TNM reached out to the airport authority, Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) issued a statement acknowledging the error. “The Terminal Operations team along with CISF and Immigration were alerted and the passengers were immediately moved to the international arrivals for immigration. Thereafter the passengers proceeded to the international baggage claim area. It was human error that caused this confusion and corrective measures are being taken,” said a BIAL spokesperson.