HYDERABAD: The 50-year-old Nampally taxi stand near Nampally railway station has been evacuated to make way for a multi-level car parking complex, leaving no room for the taxi drivers to park their cars. The taxi drivers say they had not been informed about the stand being part of metro rail project until 48 hours before their eviction on Thursday.
“We were first informed about this on Wednesday when HMRL officials arrived along with half-a-dozen cops. They started breaking the gates and asked us to vacate the stand. It was only then that they served us an eviction notice,” said Mohammad Shakeel, a taxi driver. “We have been assured help from political parties. We will meet Asaduddin Owaisi soon,” he added. HMRL officials said the land belonged to the GHMC until 2008 when it was handed over to HMRL. The takeover of the taxi stand land came shortly after a review meeting where the GHMC agreed to help HMRL build a multi-level car parking facility.
The gate to the less than one-acre land is now closed. The taxi drivers claim that they had been operating from the place since 1970s. The plot now houses Ghouse-e-Azam-Dastagir Peer shrine. “They blocked the entrance to prevent us from reclaiming the land. Every Friday after Juma prayer we have some rituals at the shrine. We jumped the gates today to perform the ritual,” said Md Moin, another driver.
HMRL officials said they tried to arrange a temporary taxi stand on the nearby municipal guest house premises but drivers were not in favour of the idea. “It will be difficult to get customers now. If we move away from the vicinity of the railway station, passengers won’t know where the taxi stand is. This is a traffic-heavy route and if we park anywhere other than in designated area, traffic cops will fine us,” said another driver.