Pune: As Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited’s (PMPML) airport bus service was not available throughout the day and many private cab drivers refused to operate fearing violence, fliers who got down at Pune Airport on Thursday faced a tough time getting home.
Cab drivers who chose to operate despite the bandh charged the passengers exorbitantly. The situation was similar at Pune railway station where rickshaw drivers and cab operators too made most of the situation, refusing to ply by the meter and overcharging to make a quick buck.
According to sources from the airport, a flight arrived after 12 noon and the passengers were forced to wait due to less availability of cabs.
The Cool Cabs and autorickshaws were also not available for the passengers. Several passengers had to wait at restaurants on the airport premises. Several had reached the airport on Wednesday night.
Suresh Kharpe, an IT professional and resident of Pimpri reached Pune airport on Wednesday. He said, “I was aware that the situation will be worse as the day progresses. I decided to go to the airport a night before. There were less private cabs and the autorickshaws too were not plying.”
Ramesh Khatri arrived at 12.30 pm from New Delhi and he was forced to wait inside the airport for more than 2 to 3 hours. According to him when he used the app for Ola and Uber, both were showing no cab available. But some were available and charging more than the actual fare.
“I had to go to Kothrud. As a regular flier I know the actual fare to Kothrud is Rs 450, but today some charged Rs 1,000, which is too exorbitant. So I decided not to take any cab and had to wait till the agitation got over,” he told Sakal Times.
An Ola cab driver, on condition of anonymity, said, “We were aware of the situation. The protesters can damage our cabs. We were not charging them extra. We just asked them to give Rs 50 to 100 extra on the original bill.”
According to the officials from Pune railway division, the cab service was totally shut due to the Maratha protest.
Besides this, some autorickshaw drivers were charging extra. Passengers suffered a lot.