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Old 27th July 2015, 12:09   #436
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Do I really need to wonder if my money makes a difference to the locals of Ladakh? No. I am already sure it does. Sustainability of these places are all owing to the Indian Army, who are in turn sustained by our tax money. Tourism supports Ladakhis, but it is the Army that sustains them throughout the year. Without Army and Government alms the locals cannot simply sustain. Let alone subsidies, most amenities are provided to these people for free by the Govt. of India. The reason why such alms are provided has been nicely mentioned by sachinpk above.The cost is willingly / unwillingly borne by us. So, we need not visit Ladakh to sustain the Ladakhis in the first place. If, boycotting Ladakh adds to the woes of the locals, they will just demand more alms from the Government who will happily oblige and will end up spending more of our tax money on them. That said, I would never want my fellow countrymen, from whichever corner of my country, to face acute financial hardships and am always in favor of providing aid to people living a hard life in remote places.

I will again share a short first hand account of why dashcam audio should be muted - We had recorded about an hour of footage of our latest trip to Sikkim with our cell phones attached to mobile holder on the windscreen. Needless to say, we didn't bother muting the audio. Upon, reaching home, I couldn't even show it to the missus, let alone my parents before painstakingly removing the audio from the clip. It contained crude language, cusses, contraband and obnoxious discussions, etc. Basically, all the ingredients of an informal discussion we have with close friends. All the time being oblivious to the cellphone capturing the audio alongwith the video. Next time, I'll make sure to mute the thing.

Lastly, to those who are coming up with excuses to support this ghastly act - Well Sir, I do respect your opinions, but I also pray that the day soon dawns when your local taxi drivers stop you from using your own car for your daily commute citing the same reasons as the Ladakhi taxi drivers are. Mind you, they would be more true when they will reason that their Swift Dzire Cab is more Eco-friendly than your gas guzzling SUV/Hot Hatch. Add to that the similar violence that the Fortuner driver had to endure, if you can manage to imagine things from his perspective.

Last edited by Rehaan : 28th July 2015 at 18:48. Reason: Toning down your last paragraph.
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Old 27th July 2015, 12:14   #437
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
But if the taxi unions really press for it, the state may amend the state specific Motor Vehicle rules to have some form of entry tax etc. etc. That would legalise the whole thing.
Let them do it. At least there will not be any ambiguity left in that case. If people still choose to travel in outside taxis, they can do so by paying this 'tax'. But they should not be pelted stones if they travel in outside vehicles.

But, after seeing this episode, I don't think they would press for it. Entry tax will be applicable to all commercial vehicles, including the trucks that bring in supplies - all are not JK registered. Would it not increase the cost of everyday items in the state?

Secondly, there is an animosity even with intra state vehicles - for ex, a Srinagar/Jammu cab cannot do a local circuit in Leh. This entry tax will not be applicable to this JK vehicles. If they somehow devise a way to make it at a district level, then maybe, they can give it a lawful guise. Maybe by declaring the district some ecologically sensitive zone.
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Old 27th July 2015, 12:30   #438
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice
At least there will not be any ambiguity left in that case. If people still choose to travel in outside taxis, they can do so by paying this 'tax'. But they should not be pelted stones if they travel in outside vehicles.
Yes. Goa has been going on with an entry tax for every vehicle (not only public transport vehicle), people know it and can take a judicious call. J&K government can easily help the local crowd. Keep the tax slabs low for big vehicles like buses. This would help more people land up at Leh quickly. These buses any way would not be able to go to all the tourists spots, the the tourists would have to take the local taxis for those trips. Increase the taxes for "rental vehicles" also considering the type of the vehicle (SUV etc.). Have a slightly lower tarrif for self driven/private, smaller type of cars. These can all be done with a proper law, which kind of "encourages" tourists to rely on local taxis, but not forcing them to use any of these.

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Entry tax will be applicable to all commercial vehicles, including the trucks that bring in supplies - all are not JK registered. Would it not increase the cost of everyday items in the state?
This is a state specific law, and so the states can exclude any type of vehicle. Public transport & Goods carriers can be easily let off. Or the tax slabs for goods carriers to be deliberately kept low, so that price increases do not happen. If some one challenges this in court, the state can say that it is trying to encourage "public transport" .

Quote:
Secondly, there is an animosity even with intra state vehicles - for ex, a Srinagar/Jammu cab cannot do a local circuit in Leh. This entry tax will not be applicable to this JK vehicles. If they somehow devise a way to make it at a district level, then maybe, they can give it a lawful guise.
I came to know that vehicles from Manali (in HP state) is not allowed to ply in Leh (J&K state). So if such a law is made in J&K, H.P state may also follow suit. But if the taxi-wallahs of Sri Nagar and Leh are not really united, then perhaps that lack of unity can be exploited. But due to the infighting the tourists may just stop going there for good.
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Old 27th July 2015, 12:32   #439
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Interesting turn of events. Suggests some major push to get the video blocked.

Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!-capture.jpg

Note from mod: This is a common error showing up randomly on several youtube videos since the last few weeks. Try using httpS:// at the start of the url to circumvent it.

Last edited by Rehaan : 28th July 2015 at 18:43. Reason: Adding mod note, so there's no misunderstanding. Thanks.
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Old 27th July 2015, 12:41   #440
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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Originally Posted by mac187 View Post
Interesting turn of events. Suggests some major push to get the video blocked.


Attachment 1395964

Could it be specific to your ISP? I was able to see the video using my cell phone data plan as well as from a desktop.

Last edited by AkMar : 27th July 2015 at 12:42. Reason: Typo
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Old 27th July 2015, 12:45   #441
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
Could it be specific to your ISP? I was able to see the video using my cell phone data plan as well as from a desktop.
Dont worry.
Its still up and working.

And whatever clout they may have, there is prerquisite to them gypping travelers of their life savings - We have to visit first!

They cant put us in buses with all of our money, and deposit us at the taxi stands, where the taxi goons can take away all of our money.
Can they??
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Old 27th July 2015, 13:06   #442
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First and foremost issue, which Ladakh Taxi union should think is " why people are using self drive rental/personal cars"

Answer is simple " obnoxious taxi rates" The fuel price in Leh is similar to rest of India. Then why do Ladakh taxi union want to charges such high rates? Some amount of difference from plains is acceptable, but almost two/three times fare per Km is not acceptable. Not every one visiting Ladakh is super rich who can afford this kind of taxi fares. The cost of hiring a Taxi in Leh/Ladakh for visiting three major destinations like Nubra, Pongong and Tso morori is almost equal or more than what it costs to visit entire leh circuit from down south.

If the rates were reasonable, more and more people will opt for local Taxis, rather than undertaking stressful self driving.

Restricted tourist season is not the fault of tourists. It is geographical thing and tourist inflow is also due the same geography.

Lets fleece the tourists as much as we can, this attitude is the main reason for increasing number self drive rentals.

Lets hope Ladakh taxi union does some introspection.
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Old 27th July 2015, 13:10   #443
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Dear Friends,

I am talking to journalists of leading dailies from Kerala,Karnataka,Telengana,Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu as well to get this act of Hooliganism published.

Please ping me on 1-1 if you can help me to connect with them.

Regards,

Waseem Memon
Drive Without Borders.
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Old 27th July 2015, 13:20   #444
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac187 View Post
Interesting turn of events. Suggests some major push to get the video blocked.


Attachment 1395964
Put in https in your link, that's all that is needed
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Old 27th July 2015, 13:28   #445
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mi2n
Sustainability of these places are all owing to the Indian Army, who are in turn sustained by our tax money. Tourism supports Ladakhis, but it is the Army that sustains them throughout the year. Without Army and Government alms the locals cannot simply sustain.
There is a subtle catch to this. The Army also has to keep the local population happy, as many of them are the eyes and ears of the Army. An Army would not try to antagonize its own citizens; the group they are there to protect. So Indian Army would go all out and help Ladakhis, and Ladakhis also would ideally have a better relationship with the Army. If you notice even in this situation, Ladakhis have not considered Army to be outsiders. The Army also is totally keeping silent - and it should remain that way. Tourists cannot say that tax funds support Army, and Army support Ladakhis so tourists should be welcomed . That is like my employer telling my maid servant how to behave, as he pays me, and that money I use to pay her salary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk
And whatever clout they may have, there is prerquisite to them gypping travelers of their life savings - We have to visit first!
Agreed. But whether a total boycott was effective, we need to wait for this year's tourist season to be over. Why I am bit skeptic about the boycott is that, tourism season in Ladakh is only for 5-6 months. People have been surviving their for remaining six months, and also for ages even before the first trouble maker tourist landed up there. So the people in Ladakh would have some other ways to live. Or else we need to some data to clearly say that Ladakh is Ladakh only because of tourism. Some one said, that is the case but I am waiting for him to provide more information.
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Old 27th July 2015, 13:47   #446
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
Agreed. But whether a total boycott was effective, we need to wait for this year's tourist season to be over. Why I am bit skeptic about the boycott is that, tourism season in Ladakh is only for 5-6 months. People have been surviving their for remaining six months, and also for ages even before the first trouble maker tourist landed up there. So the people in Ladakh would have some other ways to live. Or else we need to some data to clearly say that Ladakh is Ladakh only because of tourism. Some one said, that is the case but I am waiting for him to provide more information.
Indeed, people from Ladakh can easily survive without the tourists. That is not the question. Question is can the taxi union survive? They are getting violent as the pie is not getting any bigger while no of pieces are increasing - smaller share for everyone. If this incident deters potential tourists**, the share would reduce further! The other folks involved in tourism - hotels/eateries/guest houses get penalized for no fault of theirs.

It can have a positive effect also on the region. The mushrooming dhabas on Pangong's bank will reduce if less people start visiting it.

** not just the self-drive own/rented vehicle bound, flight/cab bound ones also.
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Old 27th July 2015, 14:28   #447
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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There is a subtle catch to this. The Army also has to keep the local population happy, as many of them are the eyes and ears of the Army. An Army would not try to antagonize its own citizens; the group they are there to protect. So Indian Army would go all out and help Ladakhis, and Ladakhis also would ideally have a better relationship with the Army. If you notice even in this situation, Ladakhis have not considered Army to be outsiders. The Army also is totally keeping silent - and it should remain that way. Tourists cannot say that tax funds support Army, and Army support Ladakhis so tourists should be welcomed . That is like my employer telling my maid servant how to behave, as he pays me, and that money I use to pay her salary.
Well, must admit I didn't intend to dig in this deep. I just wanted to convey that whether you travel to Ladakh or not, a tiny weeny part of your money will surely go to them in form of Govt. aid. The more they plead hardship the bigger the share of aid.

I'll just nitpick a bit on the bold parts of your statement, please bear with me.

1. This is what I wanted to say. Surely, they are not providing their "eyes and ears" for free. So, on this account also, they are being sustained by the Army.

2. I am of the opinion that the Indian Army would go all out and help all Indian citizens and not only Ladakhis.

3. Yes, all tourists cannot say, but all tax paying citizens can surely claim such. However, most " Indian" "domestic" tourists are tax paying citizens.

I am not trying to teach anyone how to behave, or to welcome pesky tourists in self owned/driven cars, however, I do not quite subscribe to the idea of a small group holding a part of our land to ransom on their whims and fancies either.

Last edited by mi2n : 27th July 2015 at 14:30.
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Old 27th July 2015, 14:40   #448
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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I just wanted to convey that whether you travel to Ladakh or not, a tiny weeny part of your money will surely go to them in form of Govt. aid. The more they plead hardship the bigger the share of aid.
That happens to some extent every where. Even more money is pumped in Kashmir, where the people of the valley are even more hostile and are expert free-loaders. Ladakh has not gone to such a rotten state (and we should not allow that to happen as well).

Quote:
1. This is what I wanted to say. Surely, they are not providing their "eyes and ears" for free. So, on this account also, they are being sustained by the Army.
It is a win-win situation for both parties. Both are sustaining each other . And our Army needs to protect our territory so the onus is more on the Army to ensure that the Ladakhis are not kind of rubbed the wrong way. What I am trying to say is that we should not get into a mode that Ladakhis are some kind of poor people who are just surviving because the rest of the nation gives money to them. Let us not consider them to be beggars living on charity. The army I am sure do not treat them in that way, and I really hope the tourists also don't treat them that way.

Quote:
3. Yes, all tourists cannot say, but all tax paying citizens can surely claim such. However, most " Indian" "domestic" tourists are tax paying citizens.
I don't think any society would readily accept that because they do get "tax payers money" that requires them to be like servants, waiting for the "masters" from the rest of the country to arrive. The tax money we pay, gets distributed in multiple ways and means. What I mean to say is that any tourist just marching into Ladakh (or any other place) and saying that - "Look pals, you survive here because of my tax money. So better behave and obey all my commands" will not work.

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however, I do not quite subscribe to the idea of a small group holding a part of our land to ransom on their whims and fancies either.
I agree with you. And I hope the victims in this case file an FIR, and force the police to start taking action against the culprits. The boycott requests, that can go in parallel. But if a total "us v/s them" situation can be avoided, it may be better. That is what I feel.
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Old 27th July 2015, 15:15   #449
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Why can't we drive on roads made by and maintained by our tax money? If environment is concern, let them close all except for army.

"Pay Taxes so that Roads are made, but you can't drive on them"
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Old 27th July 2015, 15:29   #450
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Why can't we drive on roads made by and maintained by our tax money? If environment is concern, let them close all except for army.
"Pay Taxes so that Roads are made, but you can't drive on them"
I don't want to make this thread into another "Karnataka RTO v/s..." thread . The road maintenance or vehicle taxes are collected at the state level. What you said has been the contention of non-KA vehicle owners driving their vehicles in KA. The local taxi fellows would just say that, it is they who have paid the J&K motor vehicle taxes, where as non-J&K vehicles driven up by the tourists have no vehicle tax paid to J&K. They have paid their taxes to their mother state.

The taxi union fellows are not clearly bringing out their concerns, and partly trying to bring up the "environmental issues". If their concern is loss of revenue, it would be better to highlight that and come up with alternatives rather than hiding behind environmental concerns.
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