Defiant taxi operators in the State have stepped up opposition to the installation of digital meters on their vehicles and are seeking legal advice to counter the notices issued by the transport department to fix digital meters within a specified deadline.
"Some of our taxi operators have received notices through WhatApp. The government has threatened to cancel our permits if we do not comply with the notice. We are consulting our lawyers on ways to legally challenge this notice issued by the transport department,” Chetan Kamat, President of All Goa Tourist Taxi Association, told The Goan.
“Right now, we have not taken any stand on the issue as we are in the process of legal consultation,” said Kamat.
Kamat said the taxi operators have stuck to their earlier stand of opposing digital meters until the State government assures that no app-based cap aggregator will be allowed to operate in the State and also cancels permission given to the GoaMiles app-based taxi service.
"The government has failed in its promise to provide digital meters free of cost. Due to lockdown, the livelihoods of taxi operators have been severely affected and in such conditions, how is a taxi operator expected to fit a meter costing Rs 12,000,” asked Kamat.
He said the demand to revise fares is also pending before the transport authority.
The transport department on Wednesday had issued a public notice directing tourist taxi operators of vehicles with registration numbers ending with the last digit 0 or 1, to ensure the fitment of digital meters by July 24.
The government has insisted that taxi operators comply with directions of the High Court of Bombay at Goa with regard to the fitment of digital meters. The high court had directed the government to fit meters in taxis within six months.