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Taxi strike in Goa against rent-a-cab operators

Tourists had a harrowing time in Goa on Monday, as the powerful taxi operators lobby went on a strike, demanding a ban on rent-a-cab firms.

Thousands of tourists were stranded at the Dabolim airport and at railway stations and bus stands across the state in the absence of taxis and auto-rickshaws.

The entrenched taxi operators lobby in Goa has for years resisted any efforts at regulation and tourists often complain of having been forced to pay extortionate rates for even short distances.

Attempts by fleet operators and radio cab services in the past were stonewalled by the taxi operators unions. Even taxi-hailing firms like Uber and Ola face problems in introducing services in the state.

The state government threatened the operators that they would take action against them under the Essential Service Management Act, but the unions have defied the authorities.

Goa’s economy is heavily dependent on the tourist traffic. While the inflow of foreign tourists has trickled down with the onset of the summer months, April and May see a large number of domestic tourists visiting the state.