Panaji, Oct 15 (IANS) The Panaji bench of the High Court on Tuesday pulled up the state government for failing to facilitate the installation of digital meters in taxis, stating that prima facie the negligence amounts to contempt of the Bombay High Court.A division bench of Justices M.S. Sonak and Nutan Sardesai, also directed the Goa government to file an affidavit stating why the Court should not proceed against it for contempt, after state authorities failed to install the digital meters by the August 1 deadline."Prima facie, we are satisfied that the Respondent (State Government) is in contempt of this Court. There are clear directions in our order dated July 5, 2019, which were in fact made on the basis of the statement made on behalf of the state government in the matter of implementation of Automated Tracking Device with integrated emergency system and fare meter in passenger taxis. The project was to be implemented from August 1, 2019 on a regular basis," the division bench said in its order on Tuesday.The Court was hearing a petition filed by the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, a collective of industry stakeholders.Goa's taxi sector, which comprises of around 30,000-odd taxis, has been on the receiving end of criticism from tourists, civil society as well as the major tourism and travel industry stakeholders, for functioning without meters or fixed tariff.The privately operated taxis have also opposed efforts made by the Goa government to introduce app-based taxis in the coastal state.
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