Panaji: The Goa government Thursday rolled out its first lot of radio taxis driven by women trained in martial arts.
The service was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. According to Goa Tourism Development Corporation chairperson Nilesh Cabral, the objective of starting the service was to underline the fact that Goa is a safe tourist destination for women.
"We want to send a message that Goa is a safe place for tourists especially for women. These taxis are especially for women. One of the rules of the taxis is that there should be at least one woman passenger in a group of passengers, if they want to avail of this service," Cabral told IANS, ahead of the launch event.
"They (taxis) are equipped with a chart of the government approved rates. The GPS (Global Positioning System) has been installed in the radio taxis," Cabral said.
The taxis will be allotted across the coastal belt, especially popular beaches like Calangute, Candolim, Colva and others. The women drivers have been trained in the martial arts and had the basic knowledge of the state's and its tourism sites.
"We will expand shortly. Taxis run by men are welcome to use our platform, provided they are willing to undergo our training process," Cabral said.
Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly three million tourists annually.