Convenience fee on autos, taxis at Mumbai airport hurting us: Unions
The convenience fee is Rs40 at Santacruz terminal and Rs 50 at T-2cities Updated: Jan 10, 2018 00:18 IST
The autorickshaw and taxi unions have asked the Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) to scrap the convenience fee of Rs 40 and Rs50 it levies on fliers who opt for prepaid taxis [black-and-yellow and cool cabs] and autos from domestic and international terminals. The unions said the move has affecting their business badly.
To prevent fliers from being cheated, the transport department had introduced prepaid auto and taxi services at airport and railway stations. The convenience fee is Rs40 at Santacruz terminal and Rs 50 at T-2 .
“Instead of paying extra to hire taxis and autos, fliers prefer to walk outside the terminal. This is affecting our income,” said KK Tiwari, Swabhiman Taxi Autorickshaw Union chief. The union has written several times to the authorities. It recently wrote to chief minister Devendra Fadanvis as well.
Tiwari said the convenience fee is in addition to the service charge [Rs20 ], which is part of the RTO-approved fare for operating prepaid services. “On the one hand, the government says it wants to promote public transport, but on the other hand, it allows firms to levy such arbitrary charges on those using public transport,” he said.
The union leaders questioned whether the MIAL has the authority to levy additional charge on prepaid services without seeking permission from the either RTO.
“After we raised the issue with MIAL officials, they said they have an approval from the RTO,” said AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximens’ Union.
The unions even questioned the need to levy convenience fee, as the MIAL gets User Development Fee (UDF) and Airport Development Fees (ADF) from every flight ticket. Even the also questioned MIAL’s decision to charge fliers extra. “It is the RTO’s responsibility to look into it the matter,” said Varsha Raut, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
Despite repeated attempts, MIAL and Airport authority spokespersons remained unavailable for comment . However, the transport department said it cannot take action against the MIAL for charging convenience fee. “It [convenience fee] has nothing to do with the fare approved by the RTO,” said Satish Sahastrabuddhe, additional transport commissioner.