Goa is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country due to its beautiful beaches, bustling nightclubs, and inviting Casinos. Goa is basically an expensive place compared to the other tourist places in the country but something that hits the most is the Taxi Fare which is supposed to be the highest in the country. Why the taxi fare is so high in Goa? and will it ever come down??
Due to the lack of efficient public transport in the state people have remained dependent on their own mode of transport or hire the cabs but in Goa getting into the cab is more expensive than one would imagine. There are no fixed fares in the state as most of the private cab operators charge what they desire. There is a cab aggregator in the state of Goa but that is another story altogether.
The state government on Monday told the high court of Bombay at Goa that tourists and locals are being overcharged by the taxi operators in the state, and that it is a “horrible situation” where taxi fares are often higher than flight tickets. So should we start traveling from North Goa to South Goa flights?
The Goa Government strongly opposed any differential treatment to the cabs, which it said, allegedly fleece tourists. In the Writ Petition filed by the Cavelossim Tourist Taxi Operators Association, they argued that tourist taxi operators should not be treated on par with regular taxis that ferry people from one location to another.
Devidas Pangam, the Goa government’s top law officer, however, told the court that the government didn’t leave any scope for any distinction between different taxi services and everyone would have to install the digital meters.
“There is a serious issue of overcharging from the tourists and locals by all the motor cabs in the state of Goa. There are complaints that the charges demanded by the motor cabs are at times higher than the flight tickets. Some amount of regulation is absolutely necessary. Grant of interim relief, would virtually amount to grant of final relief at the interim stage,” the Advocate General told the Court.
The bench of justices MS Sonak and MS Jawalkar declined a stay on the government order, ruling that “no case is made out for grant of any interim relief, save and except to observe that the compliances can be without prejudice.”
The high court has also been hearing petitions filed by the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa which complained that the state government hadn’t taken steps to comply with the directions of the high court in a 2016 petition filed by them. The government subsequently had hurriedly rolled out a taxi scheme ordering that taxis will not have their licenses renewed if they do not install the meters.
“However, having regard to the nature of requirement imposed by the rule, and the circumstances referred to the learned AG, we cannot say that such a requirement is manifestly at the prima facie stage itself. Therefore no case is made out for grant of any interim relief, save and except to observe that the compliances can be without prejudice.”
There are many efforts had been made by the state government to implement the meter on the cabs but the Taxi lobby with the help of local politicians in the state always oppose it making it difficult for the government to implement the same. This case is something that is never-ending.
The taxi fares are not going to come down until the tourist taxi operators and the state government comes into an agreement to maintain the uniform fare across the state.