Goa taxi strike continues, union leader arrested

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Panaji, Aug 3 (IANS) Strike by the All Goa Taxi Operators Union continued for second day on Saturday after a union leader was arrested for allegedly assaulting a driver of a government-appointed cab aggregator service.

Bappa Korgaonkar before being arrested told reporters, “The strike will continue. I have been arrested on false charges. I will not seek bail and will continue to be in police lock-up until the GoaMiles taxi aggregator service is scrapped by the government.”

The strike has caused hardships, especially to tourists, many of whom arrived in Goa to spend the long weekend.

Speaking to IANS, Gagan Malik, Airport Authority of India (AAI) airport manager for Goa, said, airlines had been instructed to inform inbound passengers about the taxi strike before they alight from the aircraft.

“We have set up a 24×7 help desk in the airport departure zone. We are also helping passengers download the GoaMiles cab app on their phones to help them access the taxi service,” Malik said.

The frequency of airport coaches had also been increased to handle increased passenger volumes, he added. The airport handles nearly 11,000 inbound passengers every day.

Several drivers of 30,000-odd tourist taxis have often been accused of over-charging, intimidating and operating in an unregulated environment.

Several attempts by the state government to implement a fare-meter system have failed. The August deadline set by the high court to install fare meters in Goa’s taxis has also not been met.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant appealed the taxi drivers on Saturday to end the strike and either join the cab aggregator service or approach the state government to set up a cab aggregator service for the taxi union drivers.

–IANS

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