This has come as a big relief to the tourists and other visitors to Goa. Tourists were stranded and inconvenienced due to the strike for two days – Monday and Tuesday.
“Most of the demands of taxi operators have been agreed to by the chief minister Manohar Parrikar”, said Calangute MLA Michael Lobo (BJP) and Benaulim MLA Caitu Silva (GVP) who attended the meeting told reporters.
The taxi unions reiterated their demand that there should be no entry to outside Goa taxi operators in the state as there is already an over-saturation of taxis in Goa. The trigger for the strike was entry of OlaCabs into Goa.
From the time OlaCabs announced their launch in Goa earlier this month, the taxi unions had opposed it saying the government was allowing such outside cab companies through the back door when locals taxi owners were not getting enough business. It was only on Monday when the taxi unions went on strike, that the government was compelled to take action against Olacabs.
The government had no explanation how the company was operating when the transport department had not given any permission to it. Director of transport Arun Desai was on record saying that Olacabs had not even applied for permission.
It was decided at Wednesday’s meeting that there will be a moratorium on the number of taxis in Goa. Last year, the government decided not to increase the number of rent-a-bike in the state.
On the allegation that the taxi operators charge exorbitant fare, it was agreed that the government would come out soon with a point-to-point fare. The fare charts would be displayed at taxi stands and outside star hotels.
Lobo blamed the tourism and transport departments for inaction over the years in resolving the taxi issue.