Free digital meters for taxis, domicile 15 years compulsory: CM | Goa News

Panaji: Accepting requests from private taxi associations, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced on Wednesday that digital meters would be installed completely free of charge in taxis. Sawant said GoaMiles taxis will also be fitted with digital meters, in line with requests from private taxi operators.
In addition, badges for all taxi drivers will be made mandatory and will only be issued to people who have been domiciled in Goa for 15 years, Sawant said. He said it would help address the grievance of private taxi operators that the taxi drivers in the GoaMiles app are predominantly non-Goans, who benefit from the taxi business.
In addition, notices issued to private taxi operators for not installing digital meters will be withdrawn once the meters are installed, the CM said.
“The taxi associations had made representations to me and to various other ministers. Based on this, we have decided to provide the meters with completely free data. In addition, they demanded that meters be also installed in GoaMiles taxis and that other taxi owners not be discriminated against. As a result, GoaMiles taxis will also be equipped with meters, ”Sawant said.
He said he assured the taxi associations that a solution to their problems would be found before the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, and that the assurance has now been fulfilled.
“It will be mandatory for all taxi drivers to have badges, and only those with 15 years of residence will get badges. There have been numerous complaints from taxi operators that non-Goanese drivers were working for GoaMiles. This problem will now be addressed. I assured them that we will solve their problem, ”said Sawant. He said cabinet ministers and leading party members held a meeting where the problems of taxi operators were discussed and the solution was found.
“All of their issues were resolved with the decisions made,” Sawant said.
Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho said that according to the previous agreement, taxi operators had to install the meters and then request a refund. But now they won’t be required to claim a refund anymore, as they can get the meter for free at the installation stage itself.
“For those who have been issued notices, once they have installed the meters, we will notify the transportation department and remove the notices,” Sawant said.
Godinho said around 2,500 taxi operators have already installed digital meters and another 600 have requested appointments. The meter will help track taxis and there is also a panic button for passenger safety, he said.
“They will get the meter completely free with one year of data and backend services. For the data they would otherwise have to pay Rs 2,500. The provision for the meters had already been made in the state budget for Rs 34 crore, ”Godinho said.
Minister Michael Lobo, who had backed the demands of taxi operators, said the government should also not interfere with existing systems in place for private taxi operators to do business in hotels.
“Our request was that the counters be installed for free and that it not be a competition. In our hospitality industry, there is already a system for taxi operators. No one should interfere with this system, ”said Lobo.

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