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