Saturday, December 15, 2018

Touts are back amid festive rush at Kolkata airport

Kolkata: The spurt in city-bound passengers this festive season has brought back taxi touts — and this time they have a larger gang — at the Kolkata airport.

The touts went underground and remained out of sight for some months on the face of a police crackdown following TOI reports in July this year. But with the increase in traffic volume — many Kolkatans return home in winter from other states and abroad — they have staged a comeback to make some quick bucks.
“I returned to Kolkata after three years and was in awe of the terminal upgrade. But once I headed out, it seemed to be the same old story with one tout or the other pulling us, offering to book a cab at a premium. I was aware about the existence of pre-paid taxis and a steady app-cab service but I saw many fell prey to the touts, who took them for a ride. This should stop,” said Himadri Chakraborty, who works at a private firm in Turkey.
Another software engineer from Golf Green, who now lives in Hyderabad and had last been to the city in July this year, got irritated when two touts followed him right from the terminal exit till the time he spent standing at a pre-paid taxi counter queue. “The situation was much better in July this year. But not anymore. The touts are everywhere. I even informed a lady police constable standing near the pre-paid taxi counter. But she said they were there to help passengers hail taxis and not to nab touts,” said Avirup Banerjee.
15/12/18 Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India
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