By the looks of it, Goa could be seeing GPS-enabled digital meters in taxis. The Goa government’s and taxi operators’ wiggle room has shrunk decidedly. The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) is currently petitioning the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court to direct the transport department to implement its 2015 notification on GPS enabled digital meters to be made mandatory in all taxis in Goa.
The 2015 notification saw the BJP government ordering all taxis in the State to be fitted with a GPS enabled digital meter. Of course the taxi operators did their thing and the BJP government speedily postponed it indefinitely. Now Parrikar has a chance to do policy acrobatics once again and do a U-turn on his previous U-turn.
The Transport Department has been instructed to go ahead and order the installation of taxi meters. Parrikar has written down in a file noting: “quality electronic meters is the need of the hour”. Another noting suggests that the Transport Department should consider that taxis be fitted with GPS devices.
Let us hope he sticks to his decision and does not launch into one more policy flip. Remember how motorists were forced to park in an orderly manner at Patto Plaza, and pay for parking? Parrikar can get tough again, this time with the tantrum-throwing taxi operators and force them to install meters in their taxis.
Meanwhile a salute to TTAG. This petition should have been made decades ago.