Sawant calls for introduction of app-based taxi services
Says aggregator service is only long term solution
PORVORIM: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has called for the introduction of app-based taxi services in the coastal state and said the aggregator service is the only long-term solution in the interest of the transport sector tourism.
The issue of resolving the taxi imbroglio was debated in the House, where it was brought to the attention of MPs that despite the installation of digital meters, taxi operators are not using them. Nearly 3,683 challans were issued to taxi operators for not using the digital meters installed in their vehicles, when transporting passengers.
Members welcomed the decision but asked that all stakeholders be given confidence and that there be transparency and uniformity in setting the tariff.
Sawant, who was responding in the absence of Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, told the Assembly that an app-based taxi service is the only solution and that the decision will be made in consultation with the Ministry of Transport, Tourism, coastal belt deputies and taxi operators.
“The app-based taxi service is the only permanent solution if the tourism industry is to survive in the long term. I would ask all MPs to support the government and not allow themselves to provoke taxi drivers or participate in their protest,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that so far 9,457 taxis have been fitted with digital taximeters, of which 2,268 have applied for a grant of Rs 11,200. A total of 1,824 applications have been sanctioned with the government releasing a grant of Rs 11,200. Rs 1.33 cr.
“We have to be serious now. We have given the meters… a subsidy… but despite the fact that taxi operators do not use it… we have even received complaints from tourists… so the time has come when we have to put in place a common system,” said he declared.
“The government is ready for app-based taxi services and will need the support of all MPs,” Sawant said.
Aam Aadmi Party MP Venzy Viegas said the common man will also need to be consulted as many locals are against the app-based aggregation service. He also pointed out that passengers are against digital meters, which show a higher fare compared to normal fares.
GFP MP Vijai Sardesai and Congress MP Delilah Lobo urged the government to take action against taxi operators who do not charge by the meter.
According to the government response, 3,695 taxis are operating under the All Goa license, 12,187 as All India Tourist taxis and 691 are yellow/black taxis operating in the state.