By NewsGram Staff Writer
Mumbai: In a debatable directive on Tuesday, the Devendra Fadnavis government announced that from November 1 onward, auto-rickshaw permits will only be given to those who could speak the state’s regional language – Marathi.
“Only those applicants who can speak Marathi will be issued new autorickshaw permits from November 1,” said Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote.
Maharashtra is an urbanized state and as a result, the directive will impact the auto drivers hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh among thousands of other migrants in the financial capital of India.
The previous governments rule only entailed that a driver must have been a Maharashtra resident for at least 15 years. Obtaining such a certificate is not that difficult.
A survey conducted after the Fadnavis government took over last year revealed 70 percent of the auto-drivers in the state to be non-Maharashtrians. This prompted the government to take the controversial decision.