Goa taxi, auto drivers call off strike

Panaji, April 12 (IANS) Operators of around 15,000 taxis and auto-rickshaws in Goa called off their strike after Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Tuesday ordered a probe into the illegal self-drive car and bike business in the coastal state.

Vinayak Nanoskar of the North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association said the strike — earlier planned to continue until Wednesday — had been called off in view of the chief minister’s assurance.

“The strike has been called off. Taxis and autos will resume operation from Tuesday evening,” Nanoskar told reporters here.

After taxis and auto-rickshaws went off the roads on Monday through Tuesday afternoon, tourists and locals alike were left stranded at bus and railway stations and the Dabolim international airport.

The striking operators were demanding regulation of rent-a-car and rent-a-bike business, which allows tourists and locals to avail of self-driving facility at prices comparatively cheaper than hiring of cabs.

The Goa government late on Sunday invoked the Essential Services Management Act to deter taxi drivers from resorting to strike.

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