Taxi owners say govt has not kept promises


Consequent to the All Taxi Bandh at the outset of this year, the Government agreed to resolve the several pending demands of the Tourist Taxi Associations. In the subsequent two meetings organised with stakeholders the government categorically decided to put a stop to OLA Cabs, revise the rates in discussion with the Transport department, display the revised rates in the hotel premises and other prominent places visible to the tourists and the like.

Six months later, the Tourist Taxi Associations are still awaiting the fulfilment of the promises. Though the rates are revised, they are not displayed in the hotel lobby nor in other prominent places as a result, public continue to accuse the taxi operators of over-charging though they demand only for the gazetted rates by the government. The OLA Cabs have re-submitted their request to operate and the government is silent about it. The illegal operations of the Russian reps continued till the end of the season. The Hotels continue to operate taxis despite their assurances to utilise their taxis only for their staff. The TTAG continues to enjoy the largesse to operate the tours charging the tourists in foreign currency without any problems.

TTAG and others claim that the tourism business is diminishing in the state because tourist taxi operators over-charge. We would like to state that when a tourist decides to visit the state he/she checks for the rates of the hotel where he/she will stay and then decides the holiday destination. The ruthless pricing of hotels during the season is what deters the tourists to come to Goa and then they move for holidays elsewhere. The taxi operation will be known to them subsequently only after they are in the state.

The taxis operators are blamed for the flourishing of ‘Massage Parlours’ which nearly function as brothels. The tourists are well aware of the availability of ‘such services’ hence the tourists request the taxi operators to transport them to ‘such parlours’. We would like to inquire who licenses ‘such parlours’ and permits them to operate even though most are illegal? Why blame the taxi operators for the irresponsibility of other monitoring agencies.

Because of the absolute Inaction of the Government, the North Goa Tourist Taxi Association have called for an emergency general body meeting to coincide with the forthcoming Assembly proceedings to decide the next course of action. This Government has always kept us happy with numerous assurances but with total inaction.

Vinayak Nanoskar

General Secretary

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