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A merry-go-round exercise on GoaMiles deadlock

A merry-go-round exercise on GoaMiles deadlock

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01 Jul 2019 No comment 13 hits

Panaji

It was a merry-go-round exercise.  The meeting that was called by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to break the deadlock on GoaMiles failed to produce any result, as private cabbies held their ground on scrapping GTDC’s app-based taxi service GoaMiles.

Addressing media persons after the inconclusive meeting, Sawant   observed that private taxi operators will not oppose GoaMiles if their business is not taken away from railway stations, the Dabolim airport and designated hotels in the state.

Stating that private cabbies do not want GoaMiles drivers to pick up customers from taxi stands, railway stations, the airport and the hotels, Sawant said, “Otherwise they are not against the app-based taxi service running in the state. They don’t want taxis under GoaMiles to pick up passengers from these locations. I have assured them of resolving this issue, and will inform them over the next 15-20 days,” Sawant explained.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of taxi unions, taxi aggregators, MLAs and government officials.

Sawant said that tourists meet with fatal accidents in the state, as they opt rented bikes instead of cabs, as private cabbies charge exorbitant fares from the tourists.

“GoaMiles was started to provide affordable taxi service to the people. It is in the interest of Goans, tourists, and the government will continue with it,” Sawant maintained, adding that governments will not succumb to any pressure from private taxi unions.

He alleged that private taxis and several vehicles are being operated illegally under the guise of ‘rent-a-cab’, ‘rent a bike’, and that a single owner runs several vehicles.

An inquiry has been ordered to identify the wrongdoers, he said.

“Some 18000 bikes operate under rent-a-bike belonging to nearly 3000 owners. And there are 1000 owners who operate under ‘rent-a-car’, ‘rent a bike’; they also operate private taxis,” claimed Sawant.

Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo, who had been instrumental in getting the stakeholders for the meeting, stressed on the need to bring

in transparency in the taxi business for the benefits of the Goans and the tourists.

“Taxi operators are saying that they don’t want GoaMiles. But if they say they don’t want to come under any  app-based system at all  then they will have to install digital meter as per the direction of the High Court, for which the Chief Minister has already given his assent,”
he said.

All Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association Chetan Kamat rubbished the claims of the Chief Minister that they have agreed to the suggestions of the government.

The representatives of the private taxi unions were not given opportunity to have their say, Kamat claimed.

“We never said that we are not against GoaMiles, and we never agreed to the suggestions put forth by the Chief Minister. I request him and the MLAs not to divide our unions’ members over this issue. Our demand is to scrap GoaMiles permanently or face protest,” Kamat thundered.

Yellow Black Taxi Union president Sunil Naik questioned Sawant as to why the government has failed to initiate action against the people in the taxi business if they were operating illegally.

Source: A merry-go-round exercise on GoaMiles deadlock

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