Cabmen, tour operators clash at Cansaulim

The ongoing tussles between Tourist taxi operators and travel and tour operators flared up outside Park Hyatt at Cansaulim on Friday, even as district Collector N D Agrawal issued a strong warning that the administration will crackdown on anyone obstructing vehicles carrying guests from the hotels.

The incident occurred after the taxi operators stopped a lady guest from travelling out of the hotel in a vehicle engaged by a travel agent. The district Collector issued instructions to the police to ensure the lady guests reaches her conference venue at Holiday Inn.

Later, both the tourist taxi operators and the travel and tour agents led by Simplicio D’Souza had a meeting with the district collector in the district collectorate here this afternoon. The two sides had heated exchanges during the meeting, even as Agrawal warned that the police will come down heavily against those taking the law in their hands.

Later speaking to newsmen, Taxi operators blamed Simplicio for taking the guests in his vehicles, while leaving them high and dry outside the hotel. “We 65 taxi operators are dependent on our livelihood on the taxi business. If outside vehicles comes and take the guests, how would be survive”, he asked. Agitated taxi operators said they will never allow outside vehicles to take hotel guests from Park Hyatt and vowed to continue their fight for the survival of their 65 families.

They said they were ready to share the business with the tour and travel agents, but blamed the agents for trying to take the slice of the entire business.

Simplicio D’Souza told newsmen that trouble started when his vehicle carrying a lady doctor was not allowed to leave Park Hyatt to attend to a conference at Holiday Inn. He accused the tourist taxi operators for stopping the vehicles and creating the ruckus outside the hotel. [H]