Forty Years Ago, August 13, 1979: Engineers Desert IA

Forty Years Ago, August 13, 1979: Engineers Desert IA

Already under severe public attack for its questionable safety record and endemic flight delays, Indian Airlines now finds its engineers deserting by the dozen, lured away by the higher salaries of foreign airlines. Its international counterpart, Air India, faces a similar engineer drain. While 56 engineers of Indian Airlines have retired over the past two years, another 22 have resigned, mainly to take up lucrative jobs with foreign airlines. In the same period, 76 aircraft technicians have also resigned. Some left for personal reasons but the majority have been snapped up by other airlines. This leaves the airlines short of 117 engineers and 300 technicians.

Janata Poll Prep

Atal Bihari Vajpayee called upon the Janata Party to prepare itself for the mid-term poll, which seems inevitable. The Janata Party leader, addressing a media conference in Lucknow, said that nobody wanted the mid-term elections, yet the events were leading to a situation in which the poll was inescapable. The mid-term poll might be held in February, he felt. He said the Janata Party should utilise this short period for building up its organisation. Vajpayee said that it was clear that the Charan Singh government depended on Indira Gandhi and her will. The Janata leader described the whole political scene as nauseating in which the politicians had become “the laughing stocks”.

Flood Deaths

At least 1,000 people are feared to have died in the flash floods which engulfed Morvi, an industrial township in Rajkot district in Saurashtra, following breaches in the Macchu dam according to official sources. Reports from our Rajkot correspondent and from other nearby centres unofficially put the death toll at around 5,000. Following huge breaches in the Macchu dam due to torrential rains, the floods engulfed Morvi township, which is 65 kilometres from Rajkot, cutting it off by rail and road.