Panaji, Apr 11: More than 15,000 taxi operators in the state along with several auto-rickshaws went on strike today demanding a ban on rent-a-cab and related businesses.
Defying Essential Services Management Act (ESMA), two unions-- All Goa Taxi Owners Association and South Goa Tourist Taxi Association-- called for a strike, crippling the tourism industry in the coastal state.
Buses were the only public transport available in this coastal state which is currently witnessing surge in tourists due to summer vacations.
"The strike is successful. Not a single taxi is plying. I do sympathise with the tourists who are facing hardship but we were left with no other option," Vinayak Nanoskar, General Secretary, All Goa Taxi Owners Association told PTI.
He said the taxi owners are demanding ban on the rent-a-car and rent-a-bike business which has adversely affected the traditional taxi business in this tourist state.
Goa receives around 50 lakh tourists annually who come here to the pristine beaches. Due to the strike today, the tourists were seen stranded at state's lone Dabolim airport, various railway stations and bus stands.
Hotels had managed to provide pick-up and drop service to their guests by arranging buses. The taxi operators have warned that if the state government does not adhere to their demands, the strike would continue for an indefinite period.