Almost 1000 taxi drivers staged held a protest meet at the Azad Maidan, located at the heart of the capital city of the state, protesting against installation of speed governors and alleged harassment by the transport officials.
A leading association of private buses has threatened to join the stir from Monday in support of the agitating taxi operators.
"I had received a three to four line letter from the taxi owners on January 15 stating they will go off the road from January 19".
Kavlekar slammed the government for not resolving the issues of the taxi operators that has led to the operators coming on streets. "We can not give them exemption after February 24 by which time they have to install speed governors as per law", the chief minister said.
Churchill Alemao, who supported the cause and tried to settle the issue, told the taxi operators that he would be talking to the Chief Minister. "Taxi association warns all 40 MLAs of working against them in all constituencies to defeat whoever is instrumental in getting outside taxi services", he said. Speaking reporters at Azad Maidan in the city, North Goa Tourist Taxi Association President Vinayak Nanoskar said that the strike would continue on Saturday as well.
"There are over 2 lakh vehicles in Goa, yet the rule for installing speed governors has been only imposed on taxis". We have been facing harassment from the authorities.
"We will not let Ola and Uber come into Goa either".
"There are 4,500 taxi operators who have already installed speed governors in their vehicles and are eligible for getting fitness certificates", he said. Association general secretary Sudip Tamankar said that the decision on participate with taxi operators on strike will be taken by Saturday evening.
Responding to warnings by the government that their permits would be cancelled if they indulged in violence, the taxi operators said they would voluntarily give up their permits if the government provided them with jobs.