Striking taxi drivers demands unreasonable: Goa tourism body

The tourism and travel industry in Goa have criticised taxi drivers in the state, who have been on strike for more than 10 days, demanding scrapping of an online app-based cab aggregator service.

“It is an unreasonable demand. The state government has to remain firm,” Nilesh Shah, President of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, told reporters on Saturday, even as the state administration denied striking taxi operators the permission to gather at the city square for their daily protest.

“The state transport system has to be reasonable, transparent and on-time. Their demand to scrap the app-based taxi service is unfair at a time when the world is moving the digital way,” he said.

The Goa-based unit of the Confederation of Indian Industry and other trade associations have also urged the state government to not relent to the single point demand of the various striking taxi driver associations, whose members operate nearly 30,000 cabs across the state.

Taxi operators in Goa have gone on strike, demanding an immediate end to GoaMiles, a cab aggregator service, backed by the state tourism development corporation, claiming it impacted the livelihood of nearly 30,000 private tourist taxi operators in the state.

A large section of tourist taxi drivers in Goa have often been accused of overcharging, intimidating and operating in an unregulated environment.

Following a slew of complaints, the state Tourism Ministry in 2018 started ‘GoaMiles’ as an outsourced private app-based taxi service.