Mumbai Taximen's Union leader AL Quadros has threatened to go on flash strike on Friday if private or long-distance taxi services are allowed to operate from the prepaid taxi stand at the domestic airport in Santacruz.
Reacting sharply, state transport commissioner V N More told Hindustan Times, "Unions should not take such extreme steps of announcing a strike even before discussing their issues with the authorities. It merely creates panic among public." He added, "I have not received a single letter from the taxi union."
Currently, around 1,700 prepaid taxis, including cool cabs and yellow-black taxis, operate at the domestic airport.
However, recently transport authorities have given permission to private and outstation cabbies to operate from there. "We are not against their services. Let them operate, but they shouldn't function from the prepaid taxi stand as it will hamper our business. The authorities should make a separate stand for them," said Quadros.
The Mumbai-Pune Taxi Owners' Association is scheduled to start their service from the domestic airport from Friday. "We have received permission from the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority to operate from the domestic airport to Pune. Since, there is no other place, we will operate from the existing prepaid stand," said Ghanshyam Arora, ex-general secretary of the association.
Quadros said they would strike work at the domestic airport. "If our demands are not met, the strike may spread till Sahara Airport within few hours," he said.