A body of city cabbies – The Mumbai Taximen Sangathan – recently filed a petition in Bombay high court over an alleged taxi mess cropping up around an under-construction Air Traffic Control tower near the domestic terminal of the city airport.
The petition by Sanjay Khemka of the Mumbai Taximen Sangathan says that multi-level parking being constructed by a hotel located less than 100metres from the tower besides mismanagement of taxi parking lots near the tower pose threats to the tower and to the airport.
Several organisations, including political outfits, government agencies and hotels have been made respondents. These include Congress party through its president Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party through its president Sharad Pawar. The two allies in the ruling state government, have been blamed for illegal encroachments.
Also, public agencies like the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, Mumbai police commissioner, municipal commissioner, Mumbai International Airport Limited and hotels in the area have been made respondents.
The role of these various organisations is responsible in the unauthorised taxi stands around the airport, a ‘travel mafia’ operating around and within the airports is reflected in various happenings, the petition indicates.
Alleging that traffic mess around the tower is a mix of vote bank politics and negligence of the traffic police and airport authorities, the petition has pleaded with the court to ‘invoke its inherent powers to seek relief.
Speaking to dna, Kanhaiya Singh, secretary of the Mumbai Taximen Sangathan said that the petition was filed to ensure that the aiprort and its tower get security and safety they deserve.
“We made the writ wide-ranging as we want the honourable court to see all aspects,” said Singh.