The Central Railway (CR) has come under the radar as they allegedly captured the lanes meant for taxis and public vehicles outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) for parking vehicles belonging to the bureaucrats. Now, the Transport Department has taken up the matter with the railway authorities.
Over the past few months, the CR authorities relocated taxi parking lot and prepaid taxi stand outside CSMT station opposite platforms 10-15. They provided one lane for public vehicles to drop and board passengers from there. At least 15-20 taxis can easily be parked in these lanes.
The CR authorities converted this space into their own parking lot, and had even barricaded with ropes in the past. The lanes next to the divider where black and yellow taxis are line up, were replaced by the vehicles used by CR officials.
"We have spoken to the Central Railway authorities and raised our concerns," said Avinash Dhakne, State Transport Commissioner.
The Transport Department officials stated that these lanes were meant for the passengers' vehicles to go to the railway station. Moreover there is ample space for parking outside platform 18 on P D'mello road end.
Sources said that in fact the issue about difficulty in finding taxis outside CSMT was also raised by the MLAs in September 2020 as well.
The taxi drivers operating in the area were known to overcharge passengers and refuse to take on short journeys. “This parking stand outside CSMT was among the first in the city and was almost 40-45 years old. Even the first prepaid taxi stand started here,” said Anthony Quadros, veteran taxi union leader.
The CR officials said that they barricaded the two lanes to create a parking lot for their vehicles and that they will look into the issue.
The CSMT plans to relocate several amenities to the P D’Mello Road side of the station as part of its revamp estimated to cost Rs 1,642 crore and undertaken by the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation. Even the Harbour line is proposed to be relocated here.