Nearly 15,000 taxi operators and several autorickshaws in Goa continued the strike for second day today and threatened to intensify the agitation if their demand for ban on rent-a-cab and related businesses were not met. “Goa government has not responded to our issues despite striking work since yesterday. That is why the taxi owners have decided to continue the protests,” All Goa Taxi Owners’ Association (AGTOA) general secretary Vinayak Nanoskar.
He said the taxi owners are demanding ban on the rent-a-car and rent-a-bike business which has adversely affected the traditional taxi business in the tourist state. “We were expecting Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to meet us for discussion. But that has not happened,” he said adding that “the strike will continue till demands are met.”
The strike would be intensified and taxi operators will not allow tour buses to ferry the tourists, he said. AGTOA and South Goa Taxi Owners Association (SGTOA) have jointly given the call for strike. Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said Goa Tourism Development Corporation and state-owned Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) have pressed into service 45 buses at Dabolim airport and various hotels to ferry the tourists.
“We had also pooled in various other vehicles to carry tourists to various designated locations throughout the day yesterday,” he said. “There was no inconvenience caused to any tourist. The strike by taxi operators was unsuccessful,” he said.
However, beach shacks and restaurant owners were affected by the strike yesterday as tourists preferred to stay indoors, Parulekar said. Goa receives around 50 lakh tourists annually at its pristine beaches.