The Taxi Lobby in Goa is very Big and Strong, and the same has become possible only due to the political patronage. No politician wants to lose their vote bank, and every time the Taxi Operators go on strike, the politicians invariably succumbs to their demands. This time the Taxi Operator’s strike ended with assurance from a Calangute BJP MLA Mr. Micheal Lobo of delaying of an immediate implementation of the Speed Governors on Taxis in Goa. The transport department also moved the files asking for the one year grace period for installing speed governors on Taxis in Goa…

The article posted by the youth, who is a student at Goa Dental College been published by the the times of India with the title, ‘Many testify to how taxi lobby loots individuals’ stating that The taxi lobby, which has largely been fleecing and holding Goans and the state for ransom, reared its ugly head, yet again.

According to the author, Kashyap Bandodkar, an ignorance on the part of taxi association of Goa about the advantage of an APP based platform had lead to such circumstances. “The taxi association is not aware of the advantage of an app based platform, to which they can link their business. Are they deliberately misinformed? If yes, by whom?,” he says adding that “The net business of our Goan brothers who ply taxis will rise in an app-based system. They will no longer be dependent on a ‘turn system’. An effort will be proportionately rewarded with better income.”

HERE IS WHAT HIS POST ON FB SAYS

The net business of our Goan brothers who ply taxis will increase. They will no longer be dependent on a ‘turn system’. An effort will be proportionately rewarded with increased income.  If the tariff is standardized and the process streamlined, I am confident that the number of Goans and tourist alike would liberally use taxi services. I personally would.

This time around there is opposition to speed governors too, why is left to one’s own imagination. I am disappointed to see politicisation of the issue and politicians from across party lines supporting the taxi strike, some of whom I personally respect. Most of them playing to a voter gallery would be anyone’s best guess.

The association is trying to bring the State and its people to their knees, the government should NOT give in, not only because the demands are unreasonable and unfounded but because it would set a wrong precedent too. By no means am I generalizing and making a blanket statement that all Goan taxi drivers belong to a single category. There are many who are exceptionally well behaved and don’t loot the public but the majority of people report a bad experience.

We want the best for our goenkar brethren too. If an app-based platform is created we will have EXISTING drivers and their taxis too using them (thus also the question of outsiders dominating the market and hence this false bogey about a rape culture coming to Goa via migrant taxi driver influx would not hold water).

There are many who testify to the LOOT of the taxi lobby in Goa. Many of them also have certain unwritten rules about not letting people pick up their guests/friends from resorts where they reside if their services are not availed. What kind of unacceptable behavior is this? Strike? Strike, by all means, go on a permanent strike as many have suggested. Why not let there be healthy competition and let that decide the market? For how long will we hide behind the Niz Goenkar card? What about cheating Niz goenkars customers? Where is goenkarponn in that?  We are not asking for non-Goans to settle in Goa and ply taxis. NO. We want to streamline the current goenkar taxi. We want digital meters. Is it too unfair to ask for? 

I wholeheartedly along with many other Goans back the government on this issue. The meter should be mandatory for all. Let them be fixed within a years time. Open the market and let companies come in.  Ola/uber is an amazing user-friendly and performance-based online platform. The advantage of Ola / Uber over an indigenously developed and controlled application would be the existing workforce, logistics, and administrative/corporate experience.

I would be in favor of ensuring that locals are promoted/given preference for enrolment in an app based online taxi aggregator, also for minimum base fare per kilometer to be hiked a little as compared to their counterparts in the rest of India to give Goans an edge and to ensure decent income too”

The writer KASHYAP BANDODKAR is a student at the Goa Dental College.

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