AS far as I remember the 4-wheel main gear was ordered because with this the A320-200 is allowed to operate out of airports with bad runways, the four wheels distribute the weight in a better way then the two wheel gear does.
It was an option that was made available by Airbus... Indian was the only airline that bit.... I do not think that Airbus offers that option anymore (haven't for a while).
I beleive the option was unpopular because of the added weight.
Also, after an Indian A320 crashed, Indian grounded the whole fleet, and wanted to phase out the A320 altogether, but because of the "uncommanality" there were no takers...
Are there any dirt-runways in India that the A320 made scheduled flights to?
About ten years ago I saw an Air Namibia 747SP landing at the sand (!!!) strip of Walvis Bay! What a sight...after that I guess they had to repaint the aircraft!
thats an interesting find. Actually indian airlines is the only airline in the world to use double bogie wheels in the a320s. The reason being the rough runwats available at the non international airpots. Although the tarmac at the Delhi,mumbai etc are great the ones at say lesser known venues like nagpur etc are bad.
PS: The latest a320s leased by ia have single wheels though. They ply on Delhi-Mumbai routes only.
Actually, I heard that IC really wanted B757 as did Jet Airways but for various bureaucratic reasons, the government blocked the deal. The B757 has lower per seat costs and higher capacity. I think both of those carriers would have been better off with the B757.
It is true that a section of IC officials wanted the 757. But there were doubts that the 757 was too big to handle the routes planned for the aircraft. Indeed even the smaller A320 is too big for some of these routes. And IC has historically had a single aircraft type to operate most routes, (Caravelles(60's), 737's(70/80's) and now A320's.
In any case, once pilot PM Rajiv Gandhi fell for the A320 after a test flight at Toulouse, other officials quickly fell in line!