Express news service
HYDERABAD: With unauthorized taxi drivers pushing app-based taxi drivers, passengers arriving at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) have a painful experience. As soon as travelers arrive, unauthorized taxi drivers, like station autowallahs, crowd around them. As no app-based taxi driver is available, passengers reluctantly drive home in unauthorized taxis.
App-based taxi drivers are reluctant to get to the airport because they cannot compete with unauthorized colleagues and have to return almost 20-25 km without clients, which they cannot afford.
Over the past year, there have been numerous complaints about the unavailability of app-based drivers as unauthorized taxi drivers, known as “hunters,” persuade and divert passengers. In the absence of landing assistance and non-functional reservation terminals, passengers are forced to give in to these “hunters”.
The practice has gotten out of hand in recent months and the authorities remain powerless. Most domestic travelers have started taking their own vehicles to the airport if they have a few days of work in another city.
“I stopped booking taxis because they cancel at the 11th hour which impacts all my plans. In February, I complained to the authorities but to no avail, ”said Vinod Kanumala, head of the Indian Road Safety Federation.
Following Vinod’s tweets, RGIA police then tweeted, “We are reserving cases against them. For the safety of passengers, we operate an assistance service as well as an assistance service for women at the airport. We also regularly organize pickets and patrols. Even now, if such an incident comes to our knowledge, we take immediate and necessary action. ”
Like Vinod, many other passengers have stopped booking taxis and are now taking their own vehicles at the airport. Some are urging the RGIA authorities to resolve the issue, while others want the TSRTC to run more services between the airport and the main areas of the city of Hyderabad.
“Recently, I had to drive to the airport four times and park the car there for two days,” Ravi Varma tweeted, complaining about the taxi drivers, this time tagging Minister KT Rama Rao. On November 26, he complained about the negotiation of the drivers, who harassed passengers, even though app-based reservations were not working.
However, according to the taxi drivers, the app-based taxi drivers avoided heading to the airport, fearing a 20 to 25 km run. Even if they stand in line for five to six hours, these “hunters” take over their business.
“On several occasions, we have lodged complaints with the RGIA and local police authorities. These “hunters” are forcing passengers to cancel pre-booked taxis while enticing them with better deals. Those who wait long hours are at the front desk and as a result airport activities have become unattractive, ”explained Shaik Salauddin, President of TS Taxi and Drivers JAC.
He pointed out that most of the taxi reservation counters at the RGIA remained non-functional. Meanwhile, RGIA authorities have said they are working out a formula to control the threat in light of the TS Law on Prevention of Solicitation and Abuse Against Tourists and Travelers, 2021, the provisions of which have entered. in effect in October. “We will propose a solution in the light of this law, after taking into consideration the opinions of stakeholders,” said an official.