Panchayats   have no authority to stop App Based Taxi Service in the Village: Goamiles

Panjim, June 1: In a press statement issued today, GTDC’s initiative, Goamiles, the app based taxi service  has  strongly protested against  moves being made by North based village panchayat  in Anjuna-Caisua   to deem  its operations within  its jurisdiction  as illegal.

This is with reference  to the  agenda drawn  up for   an extra ordinary  gram  sabha to be  held on Sunday, 2nd June 2019,   by  the Anjuna- Caisua  Panchayat which is threatening the existence of this taxi business.

Goamiles has strongly advocated its  existence  supported by the Goa government which it emphasizes is also providing  employment to hundreds of taxi owners/drivers  from the village.

Goamiles, the app based  taxi service is a part of Goa Tourism’s initiative to provide  affordable transport services to  tourists as well as  locals in the Goa, states  a press release  issued today.

Goamiles has expressed regret that  lately lots of people with vested interests are working against this initiative and creating lots of trouble for the taxi owners/drivers who have opted to be a part of the Goamiles service.

According to Mr. Justine Nunes,  spokesperson of  Goamiles, the app based service operates on three major principles: No Commission from driver’s pocket, No peak hour surcharges to passengers and day time fixed rates to the taxi owners with 35% increase in night charges.

According to the reports, the village panchayat of Anjuna-Caisua has called for an extra ordinary meeting of the gram sabha to pass a resolution against the Goamiles app based taxi service in the state.

Goamiles  has strongly  criticized  this move as against the law and beyond the scope of a village panchayat.

It further  points  that  this move will affect hundreds of families in the village who are connected with the app based service  and earning a livelihood to support their families.

According to Mr. Nunes, in the writ petition filed by the TTAG (Writ Petition Number 468 of 2005) “The learned Counsel appearing for the Panchayat submits that the Panchayat will not in any manner curb the business of the Petitioners or Respondent No.7 contrary to law and their respective Fundamental Rights as guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India except for regulating it in the interest of the Panchayat. It is made clear that the Panchayats have no authority to restrict the business carried out by the Petitioners (TTAG) and Respondent No.7 by such Resolution which would create monopoly in favour of either of the parties and thereby deprive the right of the others who are in the business except for regulating their entry and exit in their jurisdiction in larger public interest.”

“The legal terms are clear.  Many of the app  based taxi owners and drivers  are also part of the village panchayat and the resolution passed by the panchayats will adversely affect their interests,” said Mr. Nunes.

“Goamiles is an authorized  business initiative drafted and crafted by Goa Tourism Development Corporation. This initiative is mainly in the interest of Goan taxi owners and tourists visiting Goa to have a win-win situation for all stakeholders. We feel this successful concept has been misunderstood by some local taxi owners due to vested interests of few,” Nunes said.