MARGAO: The taxi owners on Wednesday warned the government that they would go to any extent to oppose the GoaMiles app-based taxi service in Goa.
At a meeting held at Margao on Wednesday, the taxi owners have reiterated that the app based taxi service GoaMiles be scrapped.
Calling the meeting as a step forward to stop GoaMiles permanently, the taxi owners unequivocally said that they do not want new technology and in their defence have said that none of the taximen has overcharged. “We are charging according to the official gazette,” taxi owners said.
The meeting was attended by members of Tourist Taxi Association, Yellow Black Taxi Association, All Goa Taxi Association and others.
The meeting was attended by the Margao Congress MLA Digambar Kamat, Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress President Pratima Coutinho, Chetan Kamat, the president of the All Goa Taxi Owners Association and several others.
The taxi owners alleged that the various officials involved in the entry of GoaMiles in Goa want to hijack the taxi operations and take the royalty.
MLA Kamat said, “Taxi business is the trustworthy business run since Portuguese time in Goa. Reliability has been earned by taximen.”
Kamat said that “the taxi operators never asked jobs to any government. Govt has to appreciate their being self-employed. They don’t have much liability on Government.”
“This profession has to be promoted and backed by the Government. As for overcharging, there are black sheep in all trades but shouldn’t label the entire profession. We have to remember that these are all Goans; they will bring in tourism. This taxi business is a small sector,” the MLA said.
Advising the Government, Kamat said, “Government needs to speak to the taxi men and try to find a solution. They are Goans and the government has to support the Goans. I will give you’ll full support.”
Shekhar Uskaikar, an officer bearer of a taxi association said, “They haven’t been taken into confidence and now government wants to give back door entry to GoaMiles and make us their slaves.”
Chetan Kamat said, “This is just the beginning. Our first demand is that the Director of Transport Nikhil Dessai has to be removed. They don’t know how we make a living here.”
Terming the GoaMiles as a termite, he said, “They don’t have licence or permission. I don’t know why the government is supporting the service. I don’t deny digital system but not by bypassing Goans.”
“We demand that Goem, Goenkar, Goenkarponn centered three ministers should show Goenkarponn or else after three years you’ll not be there,” Chetan said.
“Did you (government) take the Goan taximen into confidence while getting GoaMiles? The government doesn’t have any idea how taximen make a living. We will support you,” Pratima Coutinho said.