Taxis in top gear as RTO re-opens fresh permits
09th November 2019, 02:04 Hrs
the goan I network
In a surprise move the Transport Department has re-opened the process it had recently frozen of issuing fresh permits for tourist taxis and issued a notice calling for applications from next Monday.
A notice issued on Friday by Assistant Director of Transport, Panaji, Francis Vaz, said: “I am directed to inform the General Public that applications for Grant of Permits for all kind of new Tourist Taxis i.e. (All Goa Tourist Taxis, All India Tourist Taxis and Rent-a-Cab) will be accepted from November 11, 2019. Public may kindly take note of the same.” (See facsimile)
The Transport Department’s move to open up grant of tourist taxi permits, incidentally comes close on the heels of the government’s controversial decision taken recently to cut by half road tax rates for purchase of all new vehicles in the October-December quarter.
The government took the step in response to a plea made by auto dealers in the State who have seen sales plummet as is the case across the country owing to an overall economic slowdown.
The opening up of the issuance for the new taxi permits is also expected to encourage taxi service providers to go in for bulk purchase of vehicles and apply for taxi permits in a market which is already saturated as manifested by the recent war between app-based taxi provider ‘Goa Miles’ and private tourist taxi operators.
Goa has a taxi population of some 22,000-plus, according to official statistics furnished by the State government in the monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly which concluded in August.
Taximen protest entry charges at airport
VASCO: Tensions came to a boiling point at the Dabolim airport after tourist taxi operators were protested against the entry charges levied by the new airport contractor at the exit point on Friday.
Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo along with taxi union leaders Chetan Kamat, Bappa Korgaonkar and others confronted the airport contractor and asked him to immediately stop the collection of fees.
According to sources, trouble began apparently after a new contractor was appointed by Airport Authority of India for collection of entry fee for vehicles at the Dabolim airport.
The earlier contractor would present a slip with the entry timing to every vehicle and would charge Rs 100 if the vehicle spent over 5 minutes while exiting. However, the new contractor began charging Rs 50 for tourist taxis immaterial of the time spent at the airport, but at times Rs 100 would also be charged. Also, yellow & black taxis were exempted. >> See pg 3