24 Jan 2020  |   06:09am IST

Transport Dept ultimatum: Install digital fare meters or face licence cancellation

Cost of installation to be borne by tourist taxi owners; Incentives to grant some respite to be announced
Transport Dept ultimatum: Install digital fare meters or face licence cancellation


PANJIM: Tourist taxi operators failing to install the mandatory digital fare meters will face cancellation of vehicle permits. Transport Department is set to implement the much-delayed project, after it assured the High Court of Bombay at Goa to complete the installation process within six months. 

Nearly two years after the government shelved its decision to install GPS-enabled taxi meters, some of the stakeholders, in February 2017, knocked the doors of the judiciary challenging the “illegal and unconstitutional decision of the government to keep the project in abeyance”.

With the recent order disposing the petition based on the government’s assurance, the department has set the ball rolling. Transport Director Rajan Satardekar has made it clear to tourist taxi operators that vehicles will have the digital meters fitted without which it would be termed illegal. 

“Every vehicle fitted with the digital meter will be given fresh permit. Failing to adhere to the directions will lead to cancellation of permits of the vehicles as well as making it ineligible for fitness certificates. These vehicles will not be allowed to ply on the roads. It will be termed illegal and challaned under the Motor Vehicle Act for violation,” he told Herald. 

The cost of the mandatory installation will be borne by the tourist taxi owners. However, this will include incentives in a bid to grant some respite to the stakeholders. “It is a one-time investment, so I do not think the operators or any stakeholder should have apprehensions about the digital meters. This new system will benefit tourism and also generate revenue,” Satardekar said.

With the fare notification likely in less than a fortnight and process of installation by Rosemerta Autotech Pvt Ltd to commence a week later, Transport Department has decided to hold awareness sessions for the stakeholders and the media in the coming days. 

There are 15,000 tourist taxis registered with Transport Department. In March 2019 even as the petition was pending hearing in the High Court, the State government had appointed two agencies Rosemerta Autotech Pvt Ltd and Securinex to implement the digital meters with GPS in passenger taxis. It had decided that in the first six months, Rosemerta will have the rights to implement the project while Securinex will join thereafter.


Idhar Udhar