State wants to keep Vic­to­rias run­ning, will take plea to HC

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Suren­dra P Gan­gan suren­dra.gan­gan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

South Mum­bai’s Vic­to­rias or horse-pulled bug­gies may keep run­ning, as the state gov­ern­ment plans to ap­peal last year’s Bom­bay high court de­ci­sion that made them il­le­gal.

In line with its plan to tap into tourist at­trac­tions in the city for rev­enue, the state said it will seek the court’s per­mis­sion to keep the Vic­to­rias run­ning. Last year, the court deemed them il­le­gal and had asked the state to come up with a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion plan for own­ers and horses. Last week, when this plan to re­ha­bil­i­tate the 130 op­er­a­tors came be­fore the state cab­i­net, nearly all mem­bers were op­posed to phase out the car­riages.

Some cited ex­am­ples of how horse-drawn car­riages still run in tourist hot spots like Kash­mir, Vaishn­odevi and Matheran in In­dia, and in other cities around the world. The mem­bers de­cided to look into ways to keep the ser­vice alive. Of­fi­cials from the home de­part­ment said the HC will be The Bom­bay high court had banned the Vic­to­rias, terming them “il­le­gal” as they vi­o­lated the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals Act. in­formed of the state’s plan.

“It is our cul­tural her­itage. The car­riages in south Mum­bai are pop­u­lar among for­eign tourists, who help gen­er­ate rev­enue. We will bring these facts to the no­tice of the court and cite ex­am­ples of other cities,” said an of­fi­cial.

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