Mumbai: Signs to lead passengers to pre-paid stand at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus

Updated: Feb 26, 2019, 08:12 IST | Suraj Ojha | Mumbai

Post mid-day's series on auto mafia outside busy station, site visit by authorities results in action plan

Railway and police officials met to address commuter woes yesterday. Pics/Rajesh Gupta
Railway and police officials met to address commuter woes yesterday. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

After mid-day's series of reports on how the city's traffic infrastructure is a nightmare for commuters, the authorities have decided to introduce changes to the traffic management system at some of the most crowded junctions in the city. Railway officials, on Monday, met Mumbai police officials at the traffic headquarters and even inspected the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus later in the day.

mid-day has, through the month, carried reports of errant auto and taxi drivers around BKC Bandra, Kurla and LTT station premises refusing to ply passengers, over-charging and misbehaving. 

Traffic officials have booked several auto and taxi drivers for violating norms this month
Traffic officials have booked several auto and taxi drivers for violating norms this month

Authorities had long failed to book auto and taxi drivers at LTT station for flouting traffic norms and the reason, a mid-day report had highlighted, was lack of coordination among the RPF, GRP, Mumbai city police and traffic police with each passing the buck onto another.

RPF senior inspector Naresh Sawant, Chembur traffic division senior inspector Balasaheb Mane, and station director SS Sonavne on Monday discussed solutions to the issues at LTT. One means agreed to by all was making announcements about the prepaid and postpaid auto and taxi booth at the railway station when a train arrives and cautioning passengers against drivers approaching them on the platform.

Around 60 errant auto and taxi drivers were booked outside LTT in the last couple of weeks
Around 60 errant auto and taxi drivers were booked outside LTT in the last couple of weeks

Officials also planned to put up banners at each entry and exit of the railway station with warning messages for auto and taxi drivers. If found violating traffic norms, "action will be taken as per the railway act," the signs would read. Signboards will also be put up for passengers guiding them to the prepaid and postpaid auto and taxi booths.

Changes at LTT
Even the railways has planned changes in terms of vehicle queues and parking outside station premises. Railway officials had earlier this month decided to separate the pay and park area (1,035 sqm) near the escalator to extend the four lanes earmarked for auto and taxi drivers (for dropping passengers, prepaid taxis, and postpaid autos and taxis). Another 590 sqm area will be allotted for a pay and park area towards Tilak Nagar, which will also mean an end to the unauthorised pick up and drop by autos and taxis undertaken here.

Railway officials along with the city police and traffic police inspected LTT premises on Monday evening
Railway officials along with the city police and traffic police inspected LTT premises on Monday evening

The railways will also extend auto and taxi lane no 3 and 4 towards Tilak Nagar and one more booth for auto and taxi drivers will be installed here for postpaid auto/taxi drivers to register their vehicle number on arrival.

The RPF, on its part, plans to write a letter to its senior officials to close the road under Tilak Nagar bridge for auto and taxi parking. K K Ashraf, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner of Central Railway, said that action has been taken against over 60 auto and taxi drivers in the last 20 days here. "We have taken action against them under the Indian Railway Act," he said.

Senior Inspector Balkrishna Mane of Chembur traffic division too said that a meeting with station superintendent and RPF officials has been conducted. "We have planned a meeting with the BMC and local police station officials as well to get more clarity over the problem," he said.

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