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This is high time to get cabs fitted with the digital meter and GPS device if you wish to get the permit for your cab, as RTO has decided to stop renewing and issuing any further permits to the Taxis that do not have a digital meter and GPS device fitted over it.

The issue of meterless taxis in Goa exists for many years. Many governments tried to implement the same in the state but in vain.  Taxi operators are not comfortable with the suggestion of using the meter in their cab and they perhaps believe in charging people according to the destination and hour of the day. The taxis include everything bearing the yellow plates and having the permit to ply on the set route.

But now the department of Transport has decided to become little stiff on this issue. They have issued the circular in the official gazette of Goa according to which, now onwards the transport department will not issue or renew the taxi permits unless the cab owners install the digital meter and GPS tracking device in their cabs. The new amendment rule is published in the series – I of Goa official gazette 2015. It has been made mandatory to install the GPS system and digital meter in all the taxis. 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.”

Unless the digital meter and GPS (Global Positioning Device) are installed into the cab no more new permits will be issued to the taxi operators, claims the notification. It may be recalled that the notification to this regards was issued by the earlier director of transport Arun Desai on 25th June 2015 stating that all the suggestions and objections to the draft rule to be forwarded to the office of director of transport within 15 days of the issuance of the said notification whereby the same may be taken into the consideration at the time of making an amendment.

According to the sources, after considering the suggestions and objections received by the office of director of transport the state government amended the Goa Motor Vehicles Rules, 1991 and substituted the clause making the following points clear, Motor cabs to be fitted with fare meters’, in Rule 140 of the Goa Motor Vehicles Rules, 1991, thus making it compulsory for all cabs in the state to have the facility of fare meters with printer and GPS. No fitness certificate to a motor cab shall be issued or its existing fitness certificate renewed unless such motor cab is fitted with the digital meter.  The digital meter shall be sealed at three points- at the meter, the junction box, and the adapter.

The motor vehicle will not be allowed to ply on the route unless it is fitted with the fare meter and bears the seal of metrology department to prove that the fare meter is tested and is in working condition. In the case of any need of alteration required it shall be carried out only by the legal metrology department with the written permission of the secretary of the state transport authority.

The notification further says that, The owner, driver, attendant of the motor cab or any other person who breaks or tampers in any way with the seal or marks placed on a fare meter, or who with an intent to deceive, tampers with the fare meter or the driving mechanism thereof, shall be deemed to have committed a breach of this rule and shall be liable for a penalty as specified in section 177 of the Act,” the clause 140 of the draft rules conclude.

It looks like it is going to be a tough time for the taxi operators while complying with the rules laid down by the transport department. The implementation of the new amendment will be quite a task for the concerned authorities. But one thing will be good and that is the customer satisfaction. A tourist using the services of the cabs in Goa will be happier with the new adaptation of metered taxis in Goa. Let’s wait and watch how far the implementation goes into the practice. Please leave your comments and suggestions on this issue.

Source: Various sources.   

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