It is not easy as it may sound, but the state government this time sure about implementing the installations of the digital meters in the taxis in Goa. The Goa Government has been working on the project of fitting the cabs with digital meters for a long time, but the Taxi Lobby is not ready to go ahead with the same. The state government tried everything possible to implement the installations of the Digital Meters on Cabs in Goa and every time they failed.
The reports of fitting digital meters on the local taxi came up in the media in the year 2015 when RTO issued the notice to stop renewing and issuing a new permit if the cabbies failed to install the Digital Meter and GPS device on their Cabs.
The notification says that “every motor cab plying in the state of Goa shall be fitted with a fare meter of the digital type with printer and global positioning system (GPS) tracking device approved by the state transport authority from the date as may be notified by the director of transport.”
According to the Goa Prism earlier reports, Taxi operators were not comfortable with the suggestion of using the meter in their cab as they perhaps believed in charging people according to the destination and the hour of the day.
The taxis include everything bearing the yellow plates and having the permit to ply on the set route in the state, but the digital meter installation is applicable only for the Cabs.
Despite notifying in the Official Gazette in 2015 making it mandatory to install the GPS system and Digital Meter on all the cabs in Goa nothing has been done in the direction of implementation of the same due to strong Taxi Lobby.
Again in year 2017, two years after the notification in the official Gazette, the TTAG (Travel and Tourism Association of Goa) along with the GCCI (Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries) and the Tourism stakeholders of Goa have filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking the direction to the government to implement its decision of making the digital meter compulsory for the tourist taxis in Goa.
But despite all the efforts, the Government failed to implement the digital meter installation on the cabs and now once again the Transport Department has come with an idea of installing the meter on 33000 cabs in the state by the month of June this year.
According to the Times of India, Two firms, Rosmerta technologies, and Securinex will be manufacturing 33,000 meters, which is expected to suffice for taxis currently playing in the state. “We had placed orders for the digital meters with them in the first week of March. We are hoping that they will produce the entire quantity of 33,000 units by June,” a transport official said.
Sources from the department said that the two manufacturers are currently busy appointing dealers and training staff in installing the devices. “The moment the digital meters arrive, we will make it compulsory for them to be fitted. We will have fitment centers in each taluka to execute the task. Work is underway for the same,” sources said.
According to the sources, the idea behind this implementation is to install the meters on taxis in Goa before the next season begins. The department will fix a deadline for installation after the manufacturers have produced the entire quantity of digital meters. ‘Aim to fit all meters before next season’
The target is to have all taxis in the state fitted with digital meters before the next tourist season commences in September, the transport official said.
“Meters will therefore soon be a reality in Goa and that will indeed solve a lot of issues of overcharging. Every car will be tracked through GPS so that we know if the driver is plying with the meter or not and if a bill is being generated according to the meter,” he added.