The issue of installations of the digital meters in the Taxis is as hypothetical as moving the casinos from Mandovi River which seldom come into reality, but the stakeholders do not stop their efforts and the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has served a legal notice to the directorate of transport over the non-implementation of digital fare meters for taxis in the state.
The notice points out that the government has neither commenced the implementation of digital fare meters on a pilot basis on July 16 nor on regular basis from July 31 as stated in the July 5 Order of the court.
The government had earlier informed the High Court of Bombay that statewide installation of digital fare meters in tourist taxis would begin from August 1 and conclude within six months. However, the implementation would be done on a pilot basis between July 16 and July 31.
The integrated digital meter unit would comprise of an automated tracking device with an emergency system and a fare meter with a printer.
The department of transport, in a meeting held on June 13 had approved the fixing of such integrated units in tourist taxis in the state. Adv Gaurang Panandiker who represented the TTAG had told reporters that implementation across Goa would commence on August 1.
The high court had been looking into the matter since the year 2016 when TTAG petitioned the high court along with Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry stating delays in the installation of taxi meters.
The petition demanded an order directing the government to strictly implement Rule 140 of the Goa Motor Vehicles Rules, 1991, of the fitting taxi with fare meters after it kept extending the deadline for implementation.
Since then the court has passed a number of orders drawing the attention of the state to the issue and even imposed a fine of Rs. 10000 at the transport department last year for unnecessary delay in the issue.
Fitting of Digital meters is compulsory as per Rule 140 of the Goa State Motor Vehicles Rules, 1991.
All new taxis applying for a fresh permit from August 1st would have to mandatorily fix these meters as well as those renewing their old permits.
But the government has failed to implement any of this.
The TTAG has stated that it will file a contempt petition if the directorate of transport fails to commence the installation of meters within seven days.
Source: TOI |