Tuesday 22 September 2020

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Infrastructure | Transport

Bribes of Rs 4.5 Cr to allow rent-a-cab by Govt?

 

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has alleged corruption of around Rs 4.5 crore in the transport department of its alliance partner – the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

The allegation was today made by Michael Lobo, BJP’s Calangute MLA, in connection with the issue of rent-a-cab.

“Rs 25,000 is taken from each among total 1800 applicants of rent-a-cab. Whom is it collected for?” asked Lobo in the Assembly during Question Hour.

Transport Minister Sudin Dhawalikar was silent.

Lobo along with Goa Vikas Party’s Benaulim MLA Caitu Silva carried out a scathing attack on Dhawalikar for illegally allowing rent-a-cab to operate.

The tourist taxi operators are up in arms against allowing rent-a-cab in the tourist state.

Though central government had permitted rent-a-cab, there was a moratorium on it from 1 April 2013, which was lifted on 31 March this year.

Since then, Dhawalikar said, 136 rent-a-cab were permitted.

But Lobo as well as Caitu, both belonging to the coastal tourist belt in the South and North Goa, alleged the number is far more than this.

 

The statistics provided by Dhawalikar states that Goa has around 14,000 taxis.

This is the break-up:

Rent-a-cab                     136

All Goa Tourist Permit         2553

All India Permit                  10776

Yello/Black Taxis   496

Lobo said the government suddenly introduced rent-a-cab when the taxi operators had agreed to use meters as well as other proposals in eight meetings held in this regard.

Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral alleged that Push Tours, providing rent-a-cab in Margao, was extorting Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh from its drivers.

Fatorda MLA  Vijay Sardesai termed it institutionalisation of corruption by opening taxi operation to outsiders which would severely hamper the local taxi business.

Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar intervened to pacify his own party legislators and alliance partners to state that a meeting would be convened within a fortnight after the Assembly session ends.

“We will listen to everybody and then we would take a decision, acceptable to all”, he said. 


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