The issue of meter for the cabs is going on for quite some time in the state of Goa but due to the political interference the implementation is pending to date but now it looks like the Government under the leadership of Pramod Sawant has decided to take up this issue seriously. This ultimatum issued by the Transport Department will nail down the cab operators to install the Meter this time.
According to the reports, Tourist taxi operators failing to install the mandatory digital fare meters will face cancellation of vehicle permits. Transport Department is set to implement the much-delayed project after it assured the High Court of Bombay at Goa to complete the installation process within six months.
The installation of the meters in the cabs been pending for years now, every time the government takes up this issue the taxi operators either start protesting or brings the political pressure with the help of some MLAs supporting the taxi unions in the state and this way the meter never gets installed in the cab.
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The tourists complain about the overcharging and harassments from the taxi driver in Goa and there is no existing tariff for the cabs in Goa. According to sources, if the meters are installed then fair prices will prevail and taxi fellows won’t be able to overcharge passengers.
Nearly two years after the government shelved its decision to install GPS-enabled taxi meters, some of the stakeholders, in February 2017, knocked on the doors of the judiciary challenging the “illegal and unconstitutional decision of the government to keep the project in abeyance”.
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With the recent order disposing of the petition based on the government’s assurance, the department has set the ball rolling. Transport Director Rajan Satardekar has made it clear to tourist taxi operators that vehicles will have the digital meters fitted without which it would be termed illegal.
“Every vehicle fitted with the digital meter will be given a fresh permit. Failing to adhere to the directions will lead to the cancellation of permits of the vehicles as well as making it ineligible for fitness certificates. These vehicles will not be allowed to ply on the roads. It will be termed illegal and challenged under the Motor Vehicle Act for the violation,” he told the Herald.
Although the taxi operators will have to shell out the money from their own pocket to install the GPA enabled meters but there will be incentives in a bid to grant some respite to the stakeholders.
“It is a one-time investment, so I do not think the operators or any stakeholder should have apprehensions about the digital meters. This new system will benefit tourism and also generate revenue,” Satardekar said.
This time there will be no further relief will be granted to the taxi operators in the state and the meters needs to installed within the fortnight from the time of releasing the notifications. The process of installation will commence from the next week by Rosemerta Autotech Pvt Ltd, Transport Department has decided to hold awareness sessions for the stakeholders and the media in the coming days.
The Transport department has appointed two vendors to install the meters in taxis during the period when the petition was pending in the high court. Rosemerta Autotech Pvt Ltd and Securinex to implement the digital meters with GPS in passenger taxis. It had decided that in the first six months, Rosemerta will have the right to implement the project while Securinex will join thereafter.
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It is time to get ready for the change Goa Tourism Industry was waiting to see for a long time, and this major change will help boost tourism in the state. The transparency in the public transport system is a need of an hour and it will help in changing the image of Goa in the tourism Map. What are your views on this issue?