Goa Chamber supports Government stand on app-based taxi services

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Goa  Chamber welcomes the strong stand taken by the  Chief  Minister, the Transport Minister, and the Tourism Minister in the case of tourist taxi operators.

Goa  is  the  only  state in India where  the  taxis  are  running  without fare meters.  This   has  often  led  to  large  number  of complaints  of  overcharging  and  harassment  by  tourists,   bringing  a  bad  name  to the state and its  tourism industry. Unfortunately successive  Governments in the State  have  been succumbing  to  the  pressure  tactics  of the  taxi operators  and also to the pressure  from some  of its  own MLAs. Because of the Government dragging its feet,  Goa  Chamber  and TTAG  had  in the past  approached  the High Court  which  had  given definitive  directions  to  the State Government  to  ensure  that  all taxi  operators install fare meters  within a specific time  period. 

In  this  background, the clear  stand  taken by the Chief Minister  Dr. Pramod Sawant  and  his  ministerial colleagues is  a  welcome step.  While  insisting  on the installation  of  the fare meters, the Government  has  shown  its  willingness to resolve  the  issue  in an amicable manner by offering  to  pay  for  the cost  of  the  meters. The  Government  has  even  gone  to  the  extent  of  supporting  the  taxi operators’  own app based service. However, the taxi operators  stand  on being firm on non-installation of the fare meters  and  opposing the  Goa  Miles  taxi  service  smacks  of  arrogance.  They  are  now  increasingly  losing  the  sympathy of Goans.

As business persons  we  often travel  across the country  and  avail  of  the  app based  taxi  services  like Uber and Ola  –  they  are  very  efficient  and  cost  effective. Goa Miles  compares  fairly  well with  the  other app based taxi services in the country   and  is  gaining  popularity  within the state.  It  is  unfortunate  that  the taxi  operators  are using strong arm tactics  and  take  law  in their own hands  to  harm  the  Goa  Miles  taxi  drivers.   This  is  totally  unacceptable  and  we  urge  the  Government  to  stand  firm  on its  decision  and  take  strong action against anyone who  tries to disrupt  the  services, particularly  in  these  testing times for the tourism industry.

We also  appeal  to  the  taxi  operators  to  come  forward  and  accept  the Government’s  offer  and  play  a meaningful  role  in  the  development of the tourism sector in Goa.

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