Although pathway for vehicles is completed it remains closed, causing inconvenience to passengers; taxi drivers block prepaid counters
For weary commuters alighting from long-distance trains at Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), disgust at the state of affairs can only be expressed privately.
Passengers find themselves tackling menacing taxi and auto rickshaw drivers as soon as they step off the train.
Disarray: Taxi and auto drivers haphazardly park their vehicles outside
the LTT making it troublesome for passengers
Rampant fleecing and overcharging are the norm. Both the taxis and auto rickshaw drivers park their vehicles haphazardly outside the existing platform.
"The drivers tend to snatch the bags out of your hand, in a bid to get fares. It is a terrible state of affairs," said Sumit Singh, a passenger who faced this problem a few days back when he arrived at Kurla LTT. "Besides asking exorbitant fares (no mention about charging by meter is made), they also obstruct those who want to approach the prepaid taxi stand."
The existing Kurla terminus building is spread over 3,368 sq m. There is also a prepaid taxi stand close to the existing terminus. However, the chaos is evident with complete ignorance of traffic rules by the drivers.
Moreover, the Central Railway (CR) seems to be going slow on the ongoing work on constructing the new station building, station area, taxi-auto stands, parking lots for vehicles, and passenger amenities. Although the Rs 65 crore building, when observed from outside looks complete, the pathway for taxis and autos is still undivided. CR officials claim that major portion of work is complete barring few things that is pending.
CR officials claim the new building will not be opened till the SCLR is
complete. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Passing the buck
"Until the work on the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) is not completed, throwing open the new Kurla Terminus station wouldn't serve much purpose for people coming out and taking their vehicles or public transport," said a senior CR official.
With only one arm of the SCLR being connected to the new terminus building, vehicles are expected to move freely. The officials from Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), however, say that there is no connection between the ongoing work on the SCLR and the CR to open the new Kurla Terminus building.
"The work is going on for last seven months and will take another year," said S Nage, chief engineer, MSRDC.
"There is no space for taxis to park because of the ongoing work being carried out by the authorities," said A Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen's Union.
"We have requested the RTOs to set up a prepaid auto rickshaw stand there, but it is being ignored," said Shashank Rao, rickshaw Union leader.