The Maharashtra state transport department has decided to issue one lakh autorickshaw permits in Mumbai Metropolitan Region in November. However, this comes with a condition.
According to a circular issued by the government on Tuesday, the applicant must know Marathi and should be domicile resident of the state.
“After 1st November, permit for new auto rickshaw will be given only to those applicants who can speak Marathi,” Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said at a press conference.
The last permits were issued in 1997.
The transport minister of the state, said that the decision has been taken as the population has increased since then.
The move by the state government has the potential to stir up a hornet’s nest, as there are thousands of migrants in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai, from north Indian states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh who make a living by driving taxis and autorickshaws in the city.
Apart from knowing Marathi language, applicant should be 8th class pass.
The new autorickshaws would have GPS and RPRS system installed, reports Times Of India.
Meanwhile, the government has also decided to regularize over 1.4 lakh autorickshaw's across the state, which was not renewed permits or cancelled since last few years.
But this isn't the first time the government suggested granting of licences to only Marathi-speaking applicants. According to reports, in 2012, the Congress-NCP government in the state also mooted the same idea.