The Goa government will spend Rs 32 crore for the installation of free meters for taxi drivers in the state. The announcement has now been challenged by Sudip Tamhankar, spokesperson of the Taxi Owners Association. He has also demanded that the government scrap Goa Miles completely.
Tamhankar said that taxi owners demand to scarp Goa Miles. However, the government does not want to act on it. Therefore, taxis will not be metered until the Goa Miles taxi service is cancelled. Taxi owners should be given a discount on meter fares based on the mobile app. He also alleged that the government's announcement to install free meters was just a hoax.
On the other hand, the government has decided to provide free digital meters and information services to taxis to boost the tourism business. Taxi owners who have installed meters to date will be reimbursed for the amount spent. Taxis of Goa Miles will also be metered and taxi drivers will be required to have a badge and a 15-year residency certificate. With the same increase in rates for taxis, customers will no longer insist on a taxi for a particular service. According to the Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant.
Meanwhile, as per the demand of private taxi owners, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has announced the installation of digital meters in taxis free of cost. However, some Goa residents have expressed the view that the overall operation of private taxi owners and drivers in Goa will not be helpful for tourists and local passengers.
Guruprasad Gawde from Girwade feels that the locals are being extorted by taxi drivers. He talked about how cities like Pune or Mumbai has higher fuel prices than Goa. But there are no complaints from drivers or consumers about digital meters. Hence, some Goans have questioned why taxi drivers in Goa are opposed to digital meters.
The Chief Minister has clarified that digital meters will also be installed in taxis of Goa Miles. Therefore, there is no reason for injustice to taxi drivers in Goa, he added.
However, they have not yet announced the exact date on which the digital meters will be installed.