Mumbai: Cash crunch hits taxi drivers and fliers at Sahar airport

Mumbai, Nov 21: When you come out of Mumbai’s Sahar international airport you could be pardoned for thinking you are at Dadar railway station and not the swanky, world-class airport terminal.

Like Dadar which is infamous for its demanding cabbies, the demonetisation and the consequent currency shortage have turned Sahar into something similar, reports Rediff.com’s A Ganesh Nadar who landed in Mumbai this morning.

“For prepaid cabs you paid your fare at the counter, the company kept 10% and the rest of the money was given to the cabbie immediately. But after the ban on Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes on November 8, for three days they were not distributing any money as the notes were old,’ explained a veteran cabbie. “Then they started paying out, but the accounts of the cabbies and those kept at the counters did not match. So they came to blows and the counters shut down, and are yet to reopen.”

While the Easy Cab and the Meru counters are manned, the black and yellow taxi counters are closed, causing a lot of hardship to travellers as they are the cheapest option available.

So what’s happening now is that the black and yellow cab drivers ask for random fares and refuse to use their calibrated meters. Ganesh, who had to reach Khar, was quoted Rs 600 by one driver, another said Rs 350 and a third one asked for Rs 300.

“It was Rs 310 at the counter, of which we used to get Rs 270, but I am charging you Rs 10 less,’ the last guy reasoned.

On the way to Khar the driver even offered Ganesh some fortuitous advice. “You know we are not getting change for the Rs 2000 notes. They should have released the new Rs 500 notes first and then the higher currency. That way enough change would have been available in the system and not this heartache.’

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