Stakeholders hopeful of taxi policy


Tourism industry stakeholders are expecting that Government will come out with a uniform policy to govern the operation of tourist taxis while also putting a cap on issuing new licences.
The stakeholders maintained that taxi to room ratio in the State has far exceeded its limit as a result of which many of the tourist taxi operators, mainly in South Goa, have clashed with tour operators and coach owners complaining about loss of business. These types of clashes don’t bode well for Goa’s tourism, they asserted. 
One notable suggestions received by Government states that once the new taxi policy is drawn up and notified, all previous agreements between hotels and taxi unions should be cancelled and rules governing taxis in the new policy should prevail.
The stakeholders have also called for setting up facilitation centres at key locations in North and South Goa for better coordination between taxis and hotels. They have called for a common platform that will operate through a call centre and kiosk for allocation of taxis. 
A suggestion has also been made to give policing power to the Director of Tourism to act immediately in matters pertaining to problematic tourist taxi operators.  
It states that any taxi driver who indulges in overcharging, unruly behaviour and causing any other law and order problem has to be dealt with strictly with the Tourism Director empowered to suspend vehicle registration.    
The stakeholders have impressed upon the Government to create more choices of transportation for tourist to build a brand image for the State’s tourism. While in many other states and countries, a tourist is given the choice of deciding on the mode of transportation, in Goa by and large he or she has to depend on the expensive taxis, they observed. 
The industry, the stakeholders expressed, remained hopeful that the Government would find a consistent solution and streamline the operation of tourist taxis and save Goa’s tourism the blushes in future.   [H]