Plea in high court to implement digital meters for tourist taxis

IF the tourist taxi owners and drivers dont take it on themselves to introduce transparent ways of operation… the courts decisions will be the only way out for them

Travel and Tourism Association (TTAG) along with Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and tourism stakeholders have filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking direction to the government to implement its decision to make digital meterscompulsory for tourist taxis.

In June 2015, the transport department had issued a notification making it mandatory for the 15,000-odd tourist taxis in Goa to install GPS-enabled digital meters. The decision however was subsequently kept on hold due to an agitation by tourist taxi operators.

The petitioner said that the implementation of the rules has been deferred from time to time through notifications, whereas on November 11, 2016, the government issued a notification keeping in abeyance the implementation of Amended Rule 140.

Goa Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Rules, 2015 requires motor cabs to be fitted with fare meters. “Every motor cab plying in the State of Goa shall be fitted with a fare meter of digital type with printer and Global positing system (GPS) tracking device approved by the State Transport Authority from the date of notification.” The rules were notified on December 4, 2015.
The petitioners submitted that TTAG members had approached the government requesting it to implement the rules in the interest of tourism in Goa. The petitioners said that keeping the said amended Rule 140 in abeyance is not only illegal and without authority of the law, but it will also perpetuate the damage already caused to industries in Goa by its delayed enforcement. This action of the government, petitioners pointed out “was wholly illegal, arbitrary, unjustified, unreasonable, bad in law, perverse and unconstitutional as the same is in direct contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”
The petitioners comprising businessmen and traders from Goa are majorly affected by the non-implementation of the amended Rule 140. Visitors to Goa, whether tourists or traders, find it difficult to commute unless they use motor cabs/taxis operated in an unprofessional manner and charge exorbitant fees.