Striking tourist taxis back on the road, CM agrees to act against ‘illegalities’

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 12 April 2016 16:02 IST

The two-day strike of tourist taxi operators is finally resolved.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has agreed to strongly act against the illegalities in the rent-a-car and rent-a-bike business in the tourist state.

He has also formed a high-level committee comprising of three ministers, two MLAs and six concerned officials, who will submit a report with recommendations within four weeks.

“I have heard their grievances and assured to resolve them in a systematic manner”, Parsekar told goanews.com.

A meeting of striking taxi operators was held today morning with the CM at the initiative of Calangute BJP MLA Michael Lobo.

The taxi operators are primarily opposing the government policy of allowing big players like Ola and Uber in the taxi market as well as rent-a-car and rent-a-bike business that is booming in Goa.

While postponing the decision on allowing outside big players in Goa, CM said he has assured the taxi operators that unauthorised taxi business would not be tolerated.

According to taxi operators, many outside operators are running taxis unauthorisedly in collusion with the transport officials.

The committee of ministers, MLAs and officials would study all the allegations and observations made by the taxi operators and recommend to the government steps to be taken.

CM Parsekar would then sit with both the district-level taxi operators’ unions to work out action plan to implement the recommendations.

The committee comprises of Transport Minister Sudin Dhawalikar, Water Resources Minister Dayanand Mandrekar, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, Calangute MLA Michael Lobo and Benaulim MLA Caitu Silva.

The officials on the committee include the transport director, tourism director, collectors of North and South as well as SPs of both the districts.

The government had initially tried to break the strike by imposing Essential Services Maintenance Act as well as by making alternate transport arrangements for the suffering tourists.

But the government had to finally bend before striking taxi operators, who made the strike total success even with airport-based black and yellow taxis joining them.

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