New cabbies raise concerns with A-G

Taxi drivers wait for Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum in Drasa Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

SIMMERING tensions brewing between new and old taxi licence holders and authorities upon the arrival of new taxi permits came to a head yesterday when about 30 new drivers waited in the sweltering heat — from 8.30am at Drasa in Lautoka yesterday — to air grievances with Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The new permit holders claim they have been ill-treated by Lautoka City Council staff members and police.

The group presented a written letter citing their concerns when Mr Sayed-Khaiyum visited Drasa yesterday.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Joseph Amitesh Reddy said zone taxidrivers were not allowed to operate within the city boundaries.

He said they were aware the bases were open and they could operate from there if the drivers were not present.

He claimed they received heavy fines and had been chased out of town, and this put a dent in their daily earnings.

Mr Reddy said a lot of the new drivers had taken out loans to purchase their vehicles and if they had to keep paying fines, their business would suffer and their families would feel the pinch.

He said they were informed the fines for them operating in town would be increased to $75 from yesterday, thus they had chosen to raise the matter with the A-G. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum informed the group he would look into the matter.

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