Maharashtra government on Monday announced five per cent reservation for Mumbai mill workers and their kin in seeking autorickshaw permits.
Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said that though the government's decision to make knowledge of Marathi language compulsory for autorickshaw permits was welcomed by all sectors, several permits went to non-Marathi speaking candidates. "So we decided to come up with reservation for Marathi people who have contributed to the development of Mumbai," Raote said, as he announced the decision.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, and prominent mill workers and union leaders too were present on the occasion. "Social reservations are meant only for jobs. But, we have decided to introduce them in the profession also," Raote said. "Hence, apart from the 52 per cent regular reservations (for autorickshaw permits) we had announced earlier, women will have 5 per cent reservation, mill workers will have 5 per cent, and kin of 105 martyrs who laid their lives for Samyukta Maharashtra (with Mumbai) and 85 martyrs who laid their lives at Belgaum during border dispute too will have reservation in autorickshaw permits," he said.
The minister also said that these reservations will be applicable to about 1 lakh new permits, the process for which is yet to start. He also made it clear that a similar pattern of reservation would be followed in taxi permit's distribution. "Those who raise questions over the reservations should come forward to support the families of mill workers," Thackeray said.
Keeping in view the contribution made by mill workers in the development of Mumbai, the Sena chief said he expects nobody will object or challenge the decision in courts.