North Goa tourist cabbies call for strike

“The government has been pussy-footing on this for months . It typifies their solutions for problems – delay justice”

The North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association (NGTTOA) has decided to observe a day-long strike on April 11 in support of their pending demands. In a meeting held at Calangute on Saturday morning, the executive committee of the association claimed that taxi unions from the airport and South Goa besides tourist buses are extending their support.

Vice-president of the association, Ravindra Vengurlekar said the main demands include halting operations of all illegal private rental cars and other vehicles which are eating into the business of their members and also suspension of the decision making it mandatory to install meters from April 1.

The taxi union body alleged that the authorities failed to crack down on illegal rental vehicles and as such private cars are given on rent. Even the motorcycle pilots are feeling the heat of private two-wheelers given on rent.

Vengurlekar said the state government should have taken their association into confidence before making it mandatory to install meters.
 “Stakeholders should discuss the issue of taxi fare threadbare. We cannot have uniform fare structure for all tourist taxis as different variants of vehicles are used. No discussion has happened on this aspect so far. In view of this, they cannot expect from us to install meters from April 1, he said.

The transport department had issued a notification in December making it mandatory to install meters from April 1. Subsequently, the association sought a clarification from the transport department, to which they are yet to get a response.

“Unless all issues, including the amount of subsidies, are put to rest, we will not install meters,” Vengurlekar said.