In September, the Goa state government decided to implement a uniform fare chart for GoaMiles and tourist taxis to bring correspondence. However, some taxi operators started opposing and protesting the new scheme.
At a press conference in Panaji, Sudip Tamhankar, a spokesperson for the All Goa Taxi Owners Association, said that they will start the Padyatra from Panaji to Patradevi, and later they will continue their protest at South Goa.
The North Goa collector on Saturday, September 18, denied permission to taxi operators to continue their strike at Azad Maidan due to the spiking Covid-19 cases.
However, the striking operators expressed their agitation, saying how unfair it is to deny their rights to protest but allowing political meetings across the state. Even after the denial, they spread around Azad Maidan.
“Despite opposition from taxi operators, the State government is forcing taxi operators to fix taxi meters, thereby burdening the state exchequer to the tune of Rs 34 crore. We demand that the government should offer an app-based system to taxi operators rather than forcibly putting a costly digital meter system,” said Tamhankar.
The former CM of Goa suggested that keeping in mind the Covid-19 protocols, women, and children should not participate in the protest.
Taxi leader Sunil Naik said they have decided they would not bring children to Azad Maiden, except for a few women who will participate in the strike.
CM Pramod Sawant urged the striking operators to end the strike and talk and resolve the situation with the government. Transport minister Mauvin Godinho had also invited them for talks on Tuesday but declined their request for live streaming of the meeting.