On Tuesday, Maharashtra government triggered a fresh controversy by announcing that new autorickshaw permits in Mumbai will now be issued to only those who can speak Marathi which is official language of Maharashtra.
“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.
But this new law will not be liable for those who already have auto rickshaw permits
Applicant should be 8th class pass, apart from knowing the regional language of the state, and even the new autorickshaws would have RPRS and GPS system installed.
Transport minister of Maharashtra Diwakar Raote said that the decision has been taken as the population has increased since 1997 at that time the last issue was permitted. Now for the MMR region 1 lakh and for few other cities such as Aurangabad, Solapur, Pune, Nashik and Pimpri-Chinchwad around 7,500 permits will be issued by the government.
The government at the same time decided to regularize over 1.4 lakh autorickshaw’s across Maharashtra, that was cancelled or not renewed permits since last few years. In the revised law, to renew permits will be Rs 20,000 for MMR region and the rest of the state will be Rs 15,000.
The Congress-NCP government in 2012 in Maharashtra also mooted the idea of giving autorickshaw licences to only Marathi-speaking people.
Maharashtra government this move has the potential to stir up a hornet’s nest, as there are thousands of migrants in Maharashtra, most of them in Mumbai, especially from the north Indian states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who make a living by autorickshaws and driving taxis in India’s financial capital.