ALthough GVK officials claim to have pulled out all the stops to ensure their preparations don’t crash land today, passengers making their way to the CSIA’s new Terminal 2 building should brace themselves for chaos.
The four taxi unions Bharatiya Chalak Malak Sangh, Mumbai Taxi Association, Mumbai Chalak Malak Sena and Mumbai Taximen’s Union allege that neither GVK nor Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL) officials have briefed them about the systems at T2 nor have they been taken on a visit of the new terminal.
Taxi drivers say their lack of knowledge of the exit and entry routes to the terminal’s departure and arrival sections is likely to wreak havoc.
“We had written to GVK asking them to take us on a round of T2 so that we could brief our drivers, but we received no reply from them,” said Sadashiv Gaytude, general secretary, Mumbai Taxi Chalak Malka Sena, who in collaboration with Bhartiya Chalak Malak Sangh has 1,700 taxis under their wing.
“Whatever information we have is only through the media. T2’s arrival section is at level 2, but the taxis will be parked at the ground floor. This is not only going to create confusion and chaos for us, but will also inconvenience passengers,” said A L Quadros, Mumbai Taximen’s Association.
To add to the confusion, the inauguration of the Sahar Elevated Road at the hands of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and his entourage is likely to throw traffic out of gear. The CM is scheduled to throw open the road at 9 am whereas the T2’s check-in counters will open at 9.20 am for passengers who are booked on flights post noon. This means four-wheelers will not be allowed to use the elevated route.
Since the elevated road will be operational only after 2 pm, all passengers will have to make their way to T2’s level 1 (ground floor) and would have to take the escalators or elevators to reach the international departure section. “Training process (for taxi drivers) is not a day’s work; it takes time. We are in the process of training all the stakeholders,” said the official spokesperson from MIAL.