Passengers coming out of Mumbai airport on Saturday evening had a tough time getting home as pre-paid and fleet taxi drivers refused to operate after news of Bal Thackrey’s death spread. The few taxis and autos on the street were charging exorbitantly, witnesses said.
Three BEST buses summoned by the airport management to ply travellers to Vile Parle and Andheri railway stations was the only way out for many.
“I’m stuck at the airport and have no way to move out of here,” said Mulund resident Amit Deshmukh after getting off his Delhi flight. Those flying out of Mumbai arrived at the airport much before the scheduled check-in time. Vishwas Rawal, a banker on his way to Bangalore, arrived at the airport at least five hours before the check-in time.
“The moment I heard about the death on television, I rushed to the airport before any kind of problem could start,” says Rawal.
An airport official said that lights around the airport and restaurants nearby were dimmed as a mark of homage, after Sena activists asked them to do so.
Elaborate arrangements are being made for the VIP movement expected at the airport on Sunday, as leaders, businessmen and other distinguished personalities from across the country will fly in.