PANAJI: Tourists in Goa may face a difficult time on April 11 as all the 15,000-odd taxi operators in the state have decided to keep their vehicles off the road demanding a ban on rent-a-car and related businesses.
All Goa Tourist Taxi Owners’ Association and South GoaTourist Taxi Owners’ Association is spearheading the strike demanding a ban on rent-a-car and rent-a-bike businesses claiming it has severely affected their business.
"The taxi owners are forced to act this way because the state government has miserably failed to look into our demands. The government has left us with no other option than to show the strength on the streets. Not a single taxi will ply on Monday (April 11)," Vinayak Nanoskar, General Secretary, All Goa Taxi Owners' Association said.
"This is required to make government understand our importance in the tourism trade," he added.
There are in all 15,000 taxi operators who are affiliated to both these organisations.
"No taxi will be available at the airport, railway station or hotels. Even all the taxi stands across the state will be closed. We have also appealed passenger rickshaws to join us and they have agreed. It’s a do or die situation for us," Nanoskar said.
The association said due to the strike taxi counters at all the star hotels would be closed.
"We regret the inconvenience caused to the tourists but we can't help," he added.
Nanoskar warned that if the government does not fulfil their demands, the taxi owners will strike indefinitely crippling the tourism trade.
Over 50 lakh tourists annually visit Goa, known for its scenic beaches. Tourism is a lifeline for several locals in the state.