Local taxi operators overwhelmed by influx of competition

TAWANG, May 14: The Tawang district unit of the All Arunachal Pradesh Public Transport Federation (AAPPTF) has appealed to the deputy commissioner to look into the problems faced by the local taxi drivers of the township, owing to a profusion of taxis from outside operating in the local tourism market.
Claiming that the local drivers are not even able to meet the basic needs of their families “due to the domination of drivers from outside,” especially in terms of sightseeing, cab hiring, issuance of passes etc, the unit said it has decided to start a new taxi counter (which will also include the security pass booking office) where all the tourists and locals have to apply for local sightseeing tours.
“The main source of daily income of the locals here depends on the tourist inflow, and a large number of local youths here are taxi owners and drivers. However, since a few years, our local market is being dominated by outsiders, and the local taxi owners have been made mere spectators,” the federation’s Tawang unit president Koncho Tashi wrote in a representation to the DC.
The federation further said that “all local vehicles shall ply only under the authority of the AAPPTF Tawang unit, and none of the passes for Bumla Pass would be accepted until and unless it is authorized by the unit.”
It added that all the taxi owners and drivers would have to attend a week’s training – to be organized by the unit in collaboration with the administration and NGOs – to learn traffic rules and regulations, and manners.
The unit had on 23 April submitted a representation to the DC, enumerating the same issues.
The central AAPPTF, led by its president Dobing Sonam has also submitted several representations to the Tawang administration to permit only local taxis to drive tourists in and around the district.