Goa lawmakers want action against cabbies

Panaji, April 15 (IANS) Goa lawmakers were Monday up in arms against taxi drivers after a legislator was intimidated for raising in the assembly the issue of cabbies fleecing tourists. The chief minister has ordered a probe.

Goa Speaker Rajendra Arlekar said the attempt by taxi drivers to intimidate independent MLA Rohan Khaunte near his office following his comments in the assembly amounted to breach of privilege.

He asked the government to probe the matter and submit a report to the assembly’s privileges committee.

“I see this matter as a fit case for breach of privilege. Please conduct a thorough probe and submit a report. We will forward it to the house committee on privileges,” Arlekar said.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar said the privileges of the legislator should be safeguarded at any cost.

“I have asked the police for a probe. I will submit it by tomorrow (Tuesday) evening,” Parrikar said.

Khaunte had participated in a legislative debate a few days ago in which the role of taxi drivers fleecing customers, especially tourists, was discussed.

Opposition leader Pratapsingh Rane demanded that the errant taxi drivers should be “sent behind bars” if they were found guilty of breach of privilege.

Over-charging and unruliness by taxi drivers have been the bane of Goa’s tourism story with successive government failing to rein in the powerful lobby.

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