Mumbai: Moving the high court and asking for time to
learn Marathi -- taxi unions here were Thursday contemplating
various moves following the
government's directive to make it compulsory henceforth for cabbies
to be domiciled in the state and have knowledge of Marathi.
The Mumbai Taximen's
Union (MTU) said it would move the Bombay High Court to challenge
the government's move, which came Wednesday, and was consulting
MTU leader A.L. Quadros
said the decision was "undemocratic and discriminating" and totally
unacceptable to Mumbai's taxi drivers.
He also indicated that
to mass agitations like shutting down taxi services in the city.
City Taxi Union head
Mushtaque Qureshi has appealed to the government to give taxi
drivers sufficient time to learn Marathi.
Defending the move,
State Transport Commissioner Dilip Jadhav said the government was
merely implementing existing clauses in the
"Under MVA Sub-Sec.
8(24), the taxi permit holder must be domiciled in Maharashtra and
should be able to converse in Marathi. We are now only implementing
this existing provision," he said.
government had Wednesday made it mandatory for new applicants for
taxi driver permits to be domiciled in the state and be able to
read, write and speak Marathi.
The decision will not
affect the existing 35,000 permit holders but will be applicable for
the 24,000 fresh permits that will be issued over the next six
The decision was taken
at a meeting of the state
presided over by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan here Wednesday
The move would
effectively debar a large majority of people from outside
Maharashtra, especially north Indians, for whom a quick and
lucrative employment option is plying taxis here.
implementation of the MVA provisions, the government has stipulated
that the new taxis would be fitted with GPS/GPRS equipment,
radiophones, airconditioner, electronic meters with bill printers
and would run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
"The aim is to provide
modern, reliable, eco-friendly and comfortable taxi service. We
shall make necessary amendments in the MVA for the purpose for the
issuance of new taxi permits," an official statement said.