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Cabbies threaten to surrender permits on August 8

Panaji: Refusing the government proposal to join the GoaMiles app service, the tourist taxi operators in the state on Sunday warned the government that they will surrender their taxi permits en masse to the department of transport on August 8, if their demand to scrap the app-based cab company is not fulfilled.

The decision came during the ‘show of strength’ meet of more than 1,000 tourist taxi operators, at Karmali, which condemned the action of government to allow GoaMiles application software to function as the official government app for taxi-based services.

It may be recalled that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday had ruled out the possibility of scrapping GoaMiles, giving options to the tourist taxi operators to either join the GoaMiles app-based service or get their own app developed.

The tourist taxi operators have kept their vehicles off the road since August 2, with the government warning them with cancellation of their taxi permits if the strike continues.

President of the All Goa Taxi Owners’ Association Chetan Kamat informed that the tourist taxi operators have decided to give three more days – till August 7 – to the government to scrap GoaMiles app.

“If state government fails to do so, around 26,000 tourist taxi operators on Thursday, will stand in a queue in front of the transport department office in the city and surrender their permits,” he said, adding that the tourist taxi operators will not bow down to any threat from the government including cancellation of their permits.

Speaking further, Kamat said that the government need not make any effort to cancel the permits of the tourist taxi operators as they themselves would be surrendering the same, in a peaceful manner.

Meanwhile, taxi union leader, Laxman ‘Bappa’ Korgaonkar, who was arrested and released on bail on August 3, warned that after surrendering of permits by the tourist taxi operators, they will not allow the government to issue any fresh permits to anyone.

The department of tourism had joined hands with the GoaMiles company to develop an application software, after tourists complained of high fares and unregulated service.

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