Acceding to various demands of local tourist taxi operators ahead of the Assembly polls due in February next year, the BJP government in Goa on Wednesday said cab aggregators won’t be allowed to pick up customers from hotels or taxi stands on beaches.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told reporters the state government will make it mandatory for taxi drivers to carry the badge issued by the state Transport department. ”The taxi driver should be a resident of Goa for the last 15 years,” the CM said.
Sawant said these curbs are brought in after local taxi operators complained of non-Goan drivers monopolising the trade. The CM also said the government will provide taxi meters free to operators including cab aggregators. He was speaking to reporters after chairing a high-level meeting attended by Deputy CM Chandrakant Kavlekar and other cabinet colleagues, including Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar, Ports Minister Michael Lobo and others. ”The state government has considered various demands of tourist taxi operators during the meeting,” he said, adding the state government has kept its word on resolving the contentious issue of taxi operators before the Ganesh festival, beginning Friday. Lobo said taxis affiliated with cab aggregators will not be allowed to pick up customers from hotels or beach stands, even if they book the service online.
”The government has also decided to cancel the booth provided to cab aggregator, Goa Miles, at the Goa airport,” he said. The Assembly elections are due in Goa in February next year.
In the 2017 elections, the Congress had emerged as the single-largest party in Goa by winning 17 seats, but could not come to power as the BJP, which bagged 13 seats, allied with some Independent MLAs and regional parties to form the government.