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Old 23rd June 2015, 12:30   #1
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Default Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

Courtesty "DoW" https://www.facebook.com/devilonwheels?fref=photo

A few tourists have reported that they were not allowed to go to Nubra valley and Khardungla and Taxi drivers threatened them. They were ordered to park their cars at the hotel and take a local taxi.

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Originally Posted by Dushie View Post
Was in Ladkah last week. Took a Zoom car XUV for 15 days both in J&K and in Leh they were stopping vehicles from local sightseeing. Folks were being forced to park their self drive cars and hire cabs or rent bikes.

We also had to follow suit and rent bikes for Pangong Tso. Saw many zoom cars parked and also one was damaged where its rear window was broken by the local drivers. They were threatening self drive car owners with dire consequences to vehicle and life if anyone took the risk of driving the same.

For Nubra valley we rented a cab. For 5 days our self drive vehicle was parked in Ladkah and it gathered dust. Finally for the last leg of our trip we decided to take a risk. The taxi union check the vehicles at Karu to find out where folks are travelling. We told them we are heading back to Manali. So they let us go. Post reaching Upshi we paid the tax and took the road to Tso Moriri. There were not too many taxis on the way and we enjoyed the drive. The next day we drove from Tso Moriri towards Manali and did not face any issues.

This way we ended up saving time and money by not renting a taxi for Tso Moriri. As we all were guys and no family we took the risk and it paid off. But the situation is bad as even on our return to Manali we saw plenty of Zoom cars, Scorpio & Xuv heading towards leh unaware of what is happening. They will only get to know the exact status once they reach Leh and start sightseeing.
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Originally Posted by rahulk2510 View Post
Just got the following mail from zoomcar regarding the thread subject:

Dear Zoomcar User,
We have an important information to share.

It has come to our knowledge that taxi union in Ladakh is not permitting non-local vehicles (including self-drive rental cars or private cabs) from plying to certain destinations such as Khardung La and Nubra Valley, and instead tourists are being forced to use the services of local cab operators.

While we condemn the incident and regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, we would like to inform you that Zoomcar has an ‘All India Permit’ and adheres to all compliance related statutory regulations with regard to plying in any part of India.

Users are still free to drive on highways to reach Leh either from Manali or Srinagar. However, in lieu of forced restriction put forth by local taxi union, we advise our customers to exercise caution if they are travelling to Ladakh and prepare accordingly.

In case of any query please feel free to reach out to our Delhi Support team (delhi.support@zoomcar.com).


Thanks,
Zoomcar Team

Tourism department was of no help and they were told to comply as the tourist season is just 3 months and these guys need to earn money.

Earlier, there was ban on "Taxis" from outside Leh at these places, however, now the ban extends to even self drive rental cars.

Taxi Mafia in Leh is extremely powerful, so travelers are urged to exercise caution if planning to take a self drive(Yellow on black plates) vehicles.

Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!-1.jpg

Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!-2.jpg

Last edited by tsk1979 : 2nd July 2015 at 11:55.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 12:45   #2
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Default re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

I understand their plight, but this is just strange.
Someone who doesn't have a 4x4, or doesn't want to put his car through the rigor, but wants to have the experience of the drive, hires an self-drive, but has to go in a rickety cab as a passenger?
Why cant they just offer their own cabs as self drives from that point onwards?
Or do they, already?


PS: Are they threatening private vehicles as well?
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Old 23rd June 2015, 12:52   #3
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Default re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
This is funny, at the same time concerning. They want the locals Indian tourists to act as per their instructions regarding vehicle rentals, the foreigners are already at their mercy. This would actually backfire in the long run as local Mafias would starting fighting for their piece of the turf. I always wanted to go there at least once, but driving my own vehicle from Kerala is not possible, This is definitely backfire.

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Old 23rd June 2015, 13:10   #4
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Default re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

This is indeed is strange. What if somebody wants to enjoy 'driving' there rather than being a passenger in an ill-maintained taxi, and does not have the privilege to buy a 4X4? Maye they have a point on sustainable development, but taking away the freedom of tourists is not appreciable in any way.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 13:19   #5
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

Well, at least they acknowledge the presence of the law! Toward the end, it's mentioned that they will be submitting this proposal to the District Magistrate.

I doubt the District Magistrate will pass an order in their favour. It's a free country. The Ballard Estate chaiwalla can't stop Starbucks from opening up in the same locality.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 13:30   #6
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

Still does not stop one from plying their private vehicles in Leh. Protectionism is a reality, whether we like it or not. Sad state of affairs though, shows how unskilled the locals are and the total lack of job opportunities in the region. Wish the local administration focussed more on enhancing both skills and opportunities.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 13:44   #7
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Well, at least they acknowledge the presence of the law! Toward the end, it's mentioned that they will be submitting this proposal to the District Magistrate.

I doubt the District Magistrate will pass an order in their favour. It's a free country. The Ballard Estate chaiwalla can't stop Starbucks from opening up in the same locality.
The Local Mafia is extremely powerful. Even if District magistrate ignores them, how many tourists will be willing to fight with 10-15 taxi wallahs.
Law is law only when its enforced. Already any taxi from outside Leh cannot ply in the region(normal taxi).
They run the transport sector like their own private mafia
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Old 23rd June 2015, 13:49   #8
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The Local Mafia is extremely powerful. Even if District magistrate ignores them, how many tourists will be willing to fight with 10-15 taxi wallahs.
Law is law only when its enforced. Already any taxi from outside Leh cannot ply in the region(normal taxi).
They run the transport sector like their own private mafia
Thanks tsk for sharing this valuable information.
I am planning to visit Leh in August and have already booked Zoomcar.
Above news makes serious impact on my travel plans.
Could you please suggest any other alternatives?
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Old 23rd June 2015, 13:54   #9
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

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Originally Posted by mp417 View Post
Thanks tsk for sharing this valuable information.
I am planning to visit Leh in August and have already booked Zoomcar.
Above news makes serious impact on my travel plans.
Could you please suggest any other alternatives?
1. Drive to Leh, hire local taxi from there
2. Fly to leh, hire local taxi from there
3. Take your own car to Leh

These are your only alternatives.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 13:55   #10
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

At a time when neighboring countries are opening up their roadways for Indian vehicles, this comes as a shocker! This phenomena is not new, such practices have been reported in other tourist places across India as well as a few states which regularly doles out a step-motherly attitude towards "non-local" vehicles. Nothing was yet put in black and white like this. The most damning part of the resolution "stop non-local vehicles from plying...." is the most arbitrary and clearly encroaches upon the freedom bestowed upon us by law. Where are the "Sun-film banning" litigators now?
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Old 23rd June 2015, 14:18   #11
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

This is one for the Competition Commission of India!
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Old 23rd June 2015, 14:21   #12
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

I guess it must be to avoid competition from private "cabbies" originating from Haryana, Delhi, Manali etc. who must be driving into "their" areas saying that it is "self-driven" rental cabs.
Even in Goa, there is a similar fight between cabbies from north and south. Similar restrictions are in place in Manali as well. I support the cause of local people as it is their right to earn from whatever business they can get during the tourist season.
Moreover, local cabbies can give more information on the best spots and areas to see. They also help in getting to better hotels.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 14:30   #13
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

I will sort of contradict your signature here. Driving is a right you have available to you - nobody can take that away from you and say "only local taxis should be hired, you can't drive an out of state vehicle rental car here".
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Old 23rd June 2015, 14:48   #14
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

The letter says, "Keeping in view the above fact, we all have unanimously resolved to stop the non local vehicles from plying the local sightseeing destinations''.

It does not talk about only rental self drive cars, but rather they want to stop all non local vehicles?
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Old 23rd June 2015, 15:26   #15
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Default Re: Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!

In June 2013, we attempted the Wari La route but it was closed, so we had to return back through Khardung la again. On the ascent to K-La, Snowfall had just started, most of the traffic became slow as 2wd were finding it difficult to climb. After some time, the traffic halted. We were stuck at the same place for 2 hours, finally i went to check out the bloackage. One of the local taxi Innova's in the group had stalled and refused to start(check the pic) but there was enough space for others to pass but other taxi drivers blocked the way intentionally. They told us, they won't let any vehicle pass until Army sends help for their stranded friend.

Ladakh Taxi Mafia passes resolution banning Self-drive rentals!-22.jpg

Even after requesting them for a long time, no one was concerned about tourists stranded at 5000+ meters altitude for hours, although we were acclimatized well. In the end, a few more private vehicles gave us way and we made our way through Snow and at least 4x4s crossed the jam.

Descent was even more scary, a lot of snow had accumulated and road surface was slippery, the senseless local cabbies skidded all the way, most had no clue about engine braking and keeping inputs smooth. I felt sorry and scared at the same time for the scared passengers sitting in the cabs.

The Taxi drivers Union does not care about anything else but their own interests, a lot of drivers are sensible and will be helpful but the union won't let them go out of the way to help tourists. In a few years this place won't be any different from Manali.

Last edited by .anshuman : 24th June 2015 at 10:28. Reason: typo
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