Two days after the Rs 400-crore Sahar Elevated Road was thrown open for motorists, passengers making their way to the airport from the northern parts of the city are facing problems due to the lack of signages.
Motorists making their way to the new terminal via the Sahar elevated road had to undergo a harrowing time, as lack of signages on the Western Express Highway led to confusion. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Moreover, with no signboards notifying the ban on auto rickshaws, several passengers were seen alighting at the entry point of the aerial route on the Western Express Highway (WEH) and opting to continue their journey in taxis. The ones that chose to stay put in their autos had to go all the way to the domestic terminal intersection, make a U-turn and then proceed to the airport via the congested Andheri-Sahar road, losing precious time in the process.
Goregaon resident Sheetal More and her child boarded an auto rickshaw for the airport and decided to take the elevated road to reach the new terminal. But, once they reached the entry point of the aerial route on the WEH, the security guards informed them that three-wheelers were barred from entering
Passengers commuting by rickshaws feel that signboards should be installed before the Andheri’s Jog flyover, so that it would be easier for passengers to notice the restriction. Presently, the ban notice is put before the entry point of the elevated road.
Sheetal then unloaded her luggage and decided to hail a taxi for her onward journey. However, not a single taxi was willing to take her to her destination
MiD DAY visited the stretch between Jogeshwari and the New Airport Colony and it was found that while there were proper signages for passengers coming from the south, including the ban on three-wheelers, there was not a single signboard for fliers coming down from the north.
After waiting for 15 minutes, she then decided to take the same auto, having to take a circuitous route back to the new terminal for her Dubai flight. Pics/Sayed Sameer Abedi
“We hired a rickshaw from Borivli because it is a much cheaper option than a taxi. If three-wheelers are barred, then the authorities should install signages between Borivli and Andheri, so that those passengers who want to reach the airport via SER come in taxis only.
Another sad fact is that there are no proper signages after Jog flyover directing you to the elevated road,” said Arvin Singh, who was booked on a flight for Dubai. After being stopped at the entry point, Singh had to then take a U–turn under the domestic airport flyover and travel to the new terminal via the old route. Many motorists also said that with no boards mentioning the opening of the elevated road, they continued to use the old road.
MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar said, “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to the motorists and passengers going to the airport via the elevated road. We will see to it that proper signages are installed on the highway, so that motorists and passengers coming from the north don’t have to face problems in reaching the SER.”
No food for airport staff
No food and water facilities were available for airport staff working at the new T2 building, as a result of which the ground staff and other workers had to make alternative arrangements for lunch.
The staff canteen located on the multi-level car parking (MLCP) floor was open, but couldn’t dish out anything, except tea. “There is a shortage of gas cylinders, hence only tea is available in the canteen,” said a disappointed airport worker, who had to make his way out of the premises to have his lunch.
“The CISF, Immigration, Customs, airlines office staff and all those working in T2 had to shell out money from their pockets. All the ground handlers had to make lunch arrangements from expensive outlets for their respective members. We have taken the issue to GVK, who has, in turn, assured us that no such inconvenience will be faced for those in the night shift,” said a Custom official.
Two-hour baggage delay
On Wednesday night, inbound passengers had a tough time at the new terminal, as their luggage was delayed. Belts of the inline screening were not working, due to which the luggage was not coming to the conveyer belt. “Many passengers got agitated waiting for their bags, after which they turned violent and manhandled a few of the airline staff, “ said a staffer from one of the leading airlines, on condition of anonymity.
Passengers coming from Riyadh and Dubai had to wait for almost two hours before their luggage arrived. Facing similar problems yesterday, passengers vandalised the Jet Airways office after they found no baggage on the conveyor belt. When the airline was contacted via an email, they refused to comment.
- Neha LM Tripathi