The government in the south western state of Goa on Friday reprimanded the striking taxi drivers who are protesting against the installation of speed governors in their vehicles.
Several travellers remained stranded at the bus and railway stations, airports and hotels, due to lack of transport.
While over 17,000 taxis were off the streets in Goa on January 19, a fleet of yellow and black pre-paid taxis operating from the airport, ferried the passengers in the wee hours of Friday, but later they too joined the strike.
Goa: Tourists stranded in Goa as taxi drivers in the state go on a strike, they have asked govt to exempt them from the Supreme Court order of installing speed governors and for RTOs to stop harassing them to implement this rule, among other things. pic.twitter.com/tqMg7fWfnk— ANI (@ANI) January 19, 2018
However the state run Kadamaba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) put in place 25 buses to help the stranded passengers at the airport and seven buses for the railway stations, PTI reported.
Thousands of taxi operators converged at the historic Azad Maidan in Panaji to protest against government proposed speed governors in taxis.
"We are against the installation of speed governors in our vehicles. When other states have not installed it as yet, why should we be forced to do so?" complained Laxman Korgaonka, the President of North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners' Association.
On Thursday, Goa Chief Minister (CM) Manohar Parrikar had said that the Essential Service Maintaince Act (ESMA) has been invoked to make sure that the taxi drivers are forced to continue the services.
Also, twiteratti took their concerns over the strike to their twitter handle and urged to the Parrikar government in Goa to bring in Ola and Uber application based cab services. Few others also questioned the government as to what are they doing to avoid the problems faced by the citizens in Goa. Here are few tweets:
Clarifying the need of the moment, a statement issued by Transport Minister Sudin Dhavalikar on Friday reaffirmed that if the strike is not called off by Saturday, then the transport department will invite the leading cab services— Ola and Uber— to operate in Goa, with the decision of their services in the state to be taken by the office bearers of the taxi union.
The statement issued by the state transport minister also said that the government will terminate or suspend the licenses of the drivers who would still continue to protest against the proposed speed governors.
Furthermore, CM Parrikar pointed out at the Supreme Court's guidelines in deploying the speed governors in taxis and asserted that failure to install the same will be a contempt of court.
Parrikar has now issued a deadline of February 24, 2018 for the striking drivers to install speed governors and warned them that they will be deprived of fitness certificates from the department of state transport.