Jumping on the bandwagon, the Congress party on Monday extended its support to Colva’s private taxi operators, who have crossed swords with the cabbies operating under GTDC’s GoaMiles app-based taxi service.
The local private taxi operators forced a daylong Colva bandh over the tussle for the taxi pie. They said the bandh was held to save the livelihood of 200 taxi operators, claiming that shopkeepers voluntarily downed their shutters in solidarity with the local taxi operators. Heavy police force was deployed in the locality to thwart any law and order situation.
Two Congress legislators – Wilfred D’Sa (Nuvem) and Reginaldo Lourenco (Curtorim) pledged their party’s full support to the local private taxi operators in the fight against the app-based cabbies.
Speaking at a meeting held during the bandh, Lourenco said that as followed in other states, Goans must get first priority in Goa. But the government has failed to address the issue of taxi operators before introducing GoaMiles.
He congratulated the local taxi operators for coming together, adding that this battle must be taken to a logical conclusion.
The government has been claiming that mafia is running the taxi business. But what the government has done to address the issue, he asked, recalling taking up the matter with former chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
D’Sa charged that the Sawant government is not bothered about Goans, and is only promoting outsiders.
The Congress is fully supporting the taxi operators on this issue. We are ready to come on to the streets, if required, the Nuvem MLA said, adding that the issue has been festering for a long time now.
D’Sa rued that non-Goans have taken over all businesses in the state – be it fish vending, vegetable trade or for that matter beach cleaning.
However, taxi service is the only business left with Goans and needs to be protected, he thundered.