To ensure safety and convenience of people travelling to Mumbai from other cities, the traffic police are considering a proposal to start prepaid taxi and autorickshaw facilities outside major railway stations in the city. This will entail revival of such facilities outside Bandra and Dadar railway stations. The unions have also proposed that prepaid taxi and auto services be started outside Andheri and Borivali railway stations.
The suggestion from taxi and autorickshaw drivers’ unions has come in the wake of the murder of TCS software engineer Esther Anuhya in January.
Esther went missing from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) railway station on January 5. Her body was found in Bhandup on January 10 and police suspect she may have been killed by an autorickshaw or taxi driver, or a driver of a private vehicle.
Traffic police officers said they had a discussion with around 70 members of several auto and taxi unions Friday. “We will send the proposal to higher authorities for approval,” said DCP (Traffic) Pratap Dighavkar.
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Dighavkar said such services would ensure safety of passengers who come to Mumbai on outstation trains, especially at odd hours, and would also dissuade taxi and auto drivers from refusing to ply.
Police officers who attended the meeting said they would approach the railways to provide the unions with a counter at the railway platforms, so that travellers can book vehicles before exiting the railway stations. The traffic police are also communicating with the civic authorities in this regard.
To ensure the safety of commuters, the traffic police will have the registration numbers and names of each taxi and auto driver.
“We will ask the railway authorities to make announcements on the platforms at regular intervals so that the passengers are aware of the service,” said Dighavkar.
A L Quadros, general secretary of Mumbai Taximen’s Union, who attended the meeting, said, “At the existing counters at CST, Kurla and LTT, special preference will be given to women passengers,” he said.