LETTER TO THE EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED 11TH AUGUST 2018

GOA SMILES: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Tourism Minister Manohar (Babu) Ajgaonkar launched GTDC’s much anticipated Taxi App “GOA MILES” with great fanfare at Porvorim on August 6, 2018. Goans are hopeful that this will free them from the local Taxi mafia. Also seen are MLA & Chairman of GTDC Nilesh Cabral, Secretary for Tourism Sheo Pratap Singh, Director of Tourism Menino D’ Souza, MD of GTDC Nikhil Desai and others

RANE’S TOILETGATE

CONGRESS veteran Pratapsingh Rane has crossed all limits and accused Goans of abandoning Goa only to wash toilets abroad. This is an insult to the dignity of industrious Goans who work hard in various parts of the world. Their precious foreign exchange remittance to their motherland still remain as one of the largest contribution to the Goan economy.
Rane has no respect for dignity of labour and his remarks against our very own Goans exposes his elitist mindset. It also exposes the Congress party’s duplicity in making dumb claims about social justice. The Congress party cannot wash its hands off this episode. Its MLAs were seen laughing, thumping desk and clapping in the Assembly while Rane made these egregious remarks.
– Elvis Gomes, AAP convenor, Goa
FEUDAL POLITICAL MINDSET
AFTER 45 years as MLA what is Pratapsingh Rane’s contribution to Goa. Nothing. He has been a selfish politician, not known to help the poor like Goa’s first chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar did. All Mr Rane did was look after his family and property. He is the oldest serving politicians and still craves to be chief minister. Is there no retirement age for this anti-Goa, feudal, communal, lucky opportunist?
I spoke to Reginaldo Lourenco on the phone and he said the thumping of the desks was from the BJP benches but I told him the Congressmen should have all objected vociferously instead of staying quiet while the whole of Goa watched this idiotic scene.
– Stephen Dias, Panaji
RANE’S REMARK!
Former chief minister Pratapsingh Rane’s remark about Goans washing toilets abroad has invited fury and outrage. His very humiliating words against Goans working abroad while addressing the Goa Legislature Assembly on Aug 3 has rightly infuriated Goans the world over, their families and friends in Goa. It was indeed a very Black Friday for every Goan with Rane belittling and mocking Goans who work abroad.
These Goans made the choice to leave their homeland to seek betterment abroad as they did not find opportunities. The very same people they had elected to lead them were too busy living a lifestyle funded in a large part by looting the very people they mock now! Shame on you Mr Pratapsingh Rane.
Being chief minister of Goa from 1979 to 1990 and again from 2005 to 2007, perhaps Mr Rane would like to enumerate how he helped the people of Goa? He has allegedly been accused by businessman Bhaichandra Naik for demanding Rs 10 crore for being granted environment clearance for a mine, of which Rs 6 lakh was paid to his son Vishwajit Rane, MLA from Valpoi.
It’s time Rane senior hung his boots up, now that he has publicly and gravely offended Goa and Goans. The only way forward for Rane, who will soon turn 80, is to forthwith gracefully resign or face the wrath of Goans at the fag end of his life. He with his son on the bandwagon have lived at tax payers’ expense a king’s life for 46 long years as MLA and holding positions as minister, chief minister, speaker and leader of opposition…he should not wait to be flushed with a plunger down Goa’s now stinking political drain.
– Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar
GET BACK TO BUSINESS
Yes, Pratapsingh Rane’s comment was stupid and elitist and just outright wrong. The uproar has damaged the Congress so much, Rane is either a fool or a tool of the BJP.
The best punishment would be to not vote for him in the future.
Now can we get back to important things like getting outraged over a) people who scam us out of clean food, water and air, b) corrupt politicians who thrive on bribes given by people who then recover that money by providing poor infrastructure etc, c) taxi mafia people who beat up innocents just because they work for Goa Miles, etc.
– Nikhil Desai, Goa
TAXI-APP – FOR WHOSE BENEFIT?
The Centre for Responsible Tourism (CRT) is committed to respond to impacts and challenges of tourism in Goa. The primary question for CRT always is who really benefits from tourism? It is often noticed that in actual practice the local people are left only with the crumbs of the industry. The GTDC promoted app-based Taxi Service is another proof.
The highly advertised app-based service is entirely operated and managed by Pune-based Frotomiles Pvt Ltd. The company lacks credible experience to manage a taxi system in Goa as the taxi operations are tuned in to the tourism industry. GTDC used exactly the same operandi when Women-driven taxis were introduced which was owned and operated by Green Earth Translogistics Pvt Ltd, which specialized in warehousing and road transport. In both cases GTDC engaged private enterprises which had no understanding and experience of how it affects local stakeholders. If tourism is deemed as development by the Government, than this is clearly anti-development/anti-people. GTDC has moved in the interests of corporates and not in favour of local operators.
Local taxi operators were constantly requesting the Government 1) stop illegal taxi operations where private vehicles are plying as taxis, 2) tours should be left to local tourist taxis, 3) the rates of taxis and tour operators should be prominently displayed in hotel lobbies/public places for guests to have a fair choice for tours, 4) illegal touts should be uprooted to plug the leakage of foreign exchange from Goa.
None of their demands were heeded. Instead of curbing illegal activities prevailing, the Government engaged a private operator to introduce app-based taxi services without engaging and encouraging traditional tourist taxi owners and drivers to manage their own app for the service.
CRT understands that there is a great amount of disgust among the people, and that the government which should engage the common people in securing their livelihood is enabling the introduction of taxi services by non-taxi operators. CRT urges the Government and its related corporations to remain committed at the service of the common people and engage with the taxi owners and drivers to introduce their own app based service. At this stage, it clearly is a battle between the people and big industry.
– Fr Freddy Braganza, In-charge, CRT

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