Mumbai: It's still 'no parking' for displaced airport cabbies

The Bombay High Court yesterday asked the Mumbai Airport Taxi-Rickshaw Union, which had approached it aggrieved by the Metro III project, to file a fresh writ petition. The union’s drivers had been asked to shift their parking spot from in front of the domestic airport. Meanwhile, GVK and Airports Authority of India, with help from the police, have towed the taxis that were parked there.

The union said that because of the project, the drivers have been asked to shift to a new parking space near the VIP gate and Terminal 1 near gate number 9. Though Terminal 1 is non-functional, they claim that whenever a VIP visits, they will again be asked to move by the authorities.

“The new space allotted to us is small; only 200 vehicles can fit there. Our present spot can take around 550,” said Kanhaiya Singh, union president.

They had approached HC with a writ of mandamus (order from courts to government authorities to properly fulfil their duties), but Justices Abhay Oka and Anant Badar told the petitioners’ counsel that they can’t file a writ of mandamus as GVK was a private authority. Though the union said GVK was towing vehicles with the help of police, the court asked it to file a fresh petition.

“They are towing our vehicles, we have been on a dharna for the last four days, protesting against the parking space issue, but nobody is helping us. They are giving us a small space for parking, which is very far. If any VIP comes, they will again ask us to move; we want a proper space for parking,” said Singh.

200
Vehicles that can fit in the current location

550
Vehicles the previous location could house

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