Just when Rob Raker, an American environment scientist-turned-film maker, gave up the idea that he could find his lost camera, more importantly photographs from his trip to the Bardiya National Park, he got an “unexpected” call from Nepal.
“Is this Rob, owner of a camera lost in Nepal?” asked Deepak Ojha, a senior Airport Terminal Services officer. Ojha went beyond his call of duty to track Raker down through a Google group, ktmktm.
Two months ago, Raker, a permanent resident of Boulder in Colorado, the US, had accidentally left behind his Canon 5D Mark III camera worth US $4,000 at the Tribhuvan International Airport on his way home.
“I could barely believe my ears,” Raker said in his email to the Post, “I immediately told my wife, who was also completely amazed that someone from Nepal was able to track me down in the US to let me know that the camera had been found.” Raker’s camera is just one of hundreds of belongings passengers leave behind at the international airport.
Every day, around a dozen complaints are registered at the Terminal Management Division (TMD) of the airport. Until now, however, the airport officials had not paid much attention to lost properties, apart from keeping a log of items found.
Passengers like Raker had to depend on the goodwill of officials like Ojha, who has helped a record number of travellers find their lost property. In order to help travellers find their lost items, TIA officials set up a permanent ‘passenger lost and found’ desk last week.
According to TMD chief Prem Nath Thakur, the new desk is different from the ‘baggage lost and found’ section that deals only with luggage of airlines. “The new desk deals with items lost in and around the TIA,” he said.
Passengers can enquire at the TIA hotline number, 4113163, for items lost at the airport. A facilitation committee comprising the TIA General Manager, Deputy Inspector General of Police and immigration and TMD chiefs has been formed to deal with complaints related to lost items. “The committee works as a focal point. Whoever finds any unattended items at the TIA will submit it to the committee. The committee will then take responsibility of handing the item over to its owner,” says Thakur, also the member secretary of the committee.
According to Thakur, the committee will immediately announce the found items and if nobody claims it, the facilitation committee will maintain a log and identify the owner.
Earlier, there was a lack of coordination among various departments at the TIA, creating confusion among passengers whether they should go to police, immigration officials or at the airlines to find out their lost items.
Thakur said the committee is also mulling over possibilities to collaborate with courier services to deliver items belongings to foreigners.
source: ekantipur, 17 Mar 2014