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Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

Bengaluru, India
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Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

Most of the larger hotels and resorts seem to have a bunch of taxi drivers sitting around playing cards all day, with the "pay up or we not go" attitude. Club Mahindra at Varca is no different. We were there for 2 days last week.

Encounter 1: Our 13-yo son was coming in from Bangalore and we needed to pick him up from Dabolim airport. In an attempt to escape the extortionist taxis outside, I asked the folks at the front desk and concierge who said that they cannot arrange taxis from any other place. We "must" go through the taxi drivers outside. One of the gentlemen at the concierge desk quietly told me the drivers have "connections".

Not wanting to succumb to the mafia, I even considered the walk - bus - taxi option from Colva 9km away, though I would lose a lot of time, but learnt that public buses do not run between Colva and the Varca area. If you manage to find any taxis and 3-wheelers, they drop you far away at a safe distance on the main road.

I called a taxi driver friend at North Goa for advice, he connected me with a friend in South Goa, who quoted a much lower rate but amazingly enough said that he would pick me up and drop me on the main road, which is over 1km away because they dare not come anywhere near Club Mahindra.

By then I was fed up and not wanting to take a risk, asked for one of the hotel mafia taxis. The driver tried one more stunt, which is to charge an additional Rs 100 "night charge" beyond 8PM. The flight landed at 7:15PM, and by the time we got back it was 8:30PM. I learnt at the airport that the Govt late night charges start at 11PM. I refused to pay him, and he did protest a bit.

This is the first time that I encountered predatory taxi drivers intimidating outside taxi drivers coming anywhere near their "territory".

Encounter 2: Our next stop after Varca was Anjuna. We decided against the exorbitant taxi option to Anjuna, got dropped at Madgaon Bus Stand, and then took the no-stops shuttle bus to Panjim (Rs 30), then to Mapusa (Rs 10) and further to Anjuna (Rs 10). This trip was fun, and rather quick, too. We did not have to wait more than 5 to 10 minutes for the next bus. Clambering into small buses with back packs and strolleys is slightly inconvenient, but the locals don't mind. They are used to baskets with chicken and fish, anyway.

-Jyoti

London, United...
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1. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

i think buses are fun.

Calangute, India
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2. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

Jyoti

Sadly, it's not much better in north Goa.

Political patronage!

Wolf

Mumbai, India
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1,923 posts
49 reviews
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3. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

Dear Jyoti,

This is disgusting. Goa taxi drivers are goons and they are like pack of hounds and hapless travellers cannot fight with them. Now you have explained your plight very appropriately. May I suggest you to forward the above letter to

Sh. B. Vijayan

Principal Secretary (Health & FW),

Government of Goa,

Secretariat, Porvorim,

Goa - 403521 E-mail : b.vijayan@nic.in

with copy to

Mr. Swapnil Naik

Director of Tourism

Tel: 0832 - 2438755, 2438749, 2438284

Fax: 0832 - 2438756

Email: goatourism (at) dataone.in

Ms. Pamela Mascarenhas

Dy. Director (Admn)Shri Digambar Kamat,

Chief Minister

E-mail: mla-marg.goa@nic.in (Off) 2419841,2411049

(Fax) 2419846

(Resi.) 2730432

Tourism, Housing, Captain of Ports Minister of Goa

Shri. Nilkanth Halarnkar

Office: +91-832-2419525/2419526 FAX-+91-832-2419856 Residence: +91-832-2257035/6452221

Address: C,T- 2, Eliza Apartments Acoi, Karaswada,Mapusa Goa

Email: mla-tivi.goa[@]nic.in

Tel: 0832 - 2438757

Email: goatourism (at) dataone.in

GOA POLICE

Near Azad Maidan

Panaji - Goa , India

Pin code : 403001

Tel No. : + 91 - 832 - 2428360, 2428738

Email IDs :

Director General of Police, Goa dgpgoa [ at ] goapolice.gov.in

Inspector General of Police Goa igpgoa [ at ] goapolice.gov.in

Superintendent of Police North Goa spn-pol.goa [ at ] nic.in

Superintendent of Police South Goa sps-pol.goa [at ] nic.in

General e-mail goapol [ at ] bsnl.in

and let us see whether these thick skinned politicians and generally corrupt and inefficient bureaucrats do anything about it.

After one month write one more letter asking them the fate of your original letter under Right of Information Act.

Leeds
Destination Expert
for Goa
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11,640 posts
79 reviews
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4. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

It's the same outside the Holiday Inn. When we stayed there a few years ago and tried to arrange a trip with a taxi driver from Cavelossim village we had to get the bus from the HI into the village as the taxi driver couldn't pick us up outside the HI. Now we stay in Cavelossim village where in February it cost 150rp for a taxi from the village to Betty's restaurant which is just passed the HI. The same journey coming back with one of the HI taxi drivers was 200rp - and for that you have to walk down the road to the HI so the distance is actually slightly less.

Bengaluru, India
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1,534 posts
152 reviews
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5. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

All of us have suffered.

The obvious fear shown by the resort staff and outside taxi drivers was incredible!

Many thanks to Sanjiv (post #3) for the great details. Certainly worth a try.

I have another experience in Miramar which I will post shortly.

- Jyoti

Oldham
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482 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

The taxi mafia are everywhere, they get more intimidating by the year, I had a few heated words last year at the Palmarinha when a driver I have used for the last 5 years came to pick me up. This year I will be noting their actions and using the links above to highlight it to the relevant authorities.

I wont hold my breath, it is probably the top tourist gripe after garbage, they know what goes on and they need to sort it out.We should all do the same and start to report it .

Kent England
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569 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

Morning Gemma totaly agree wih you, The taxi fare from the airport last year was 700rps but back to the airport from outside the HI was 1500rps

Ray

Jersey UK
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2,600 posts
26 reviews
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8. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

Hi Sanji

I think it is very kind of you to take an interest in TA and advise us tourists..

Your director of tourism should be proud of you.

You obviously know the price of prices in Mumbai, like i said in an answer to a previious post of yours the taxis drivers in oa said they are using different fuel.

I am going to copy and paste this link to the director of tourism to read..

maybe they will start to take an interest if touirsm in Goa starts to drop??

Mims

Edited: 22 December 2011, 19:13
LIVERPOOL
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8,849 posts
39 reviews
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9. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

Feelthevibe, the drivers outside the Palmarinha are a bad bunch indeed.

Wirral U.K.
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1,375 posts
45 reviews
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10. Re: Tyranny of the taxi mafia outside Club Mahindra, Varca

Welcome to Goa. Most of them are robbing B******* we now hire a scooter to avoid my blood boiling.