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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Two years later, tongas may return to south Delhi streets

Hamari Jamatia & Rajat Arora, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 19, 2012
First Published: 23:35 IST(19/5/2012) | Last Updated: 23:37 IST(19/5/2012)

The tourists may get a taste of Victorian royalty with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) contemplating to allow horse buggies to ply in tourist areas and monuments which come under its jurisdiction.

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Humayun's Tomb, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, Safdarjung Tomb, Lodhi Garden, India Gate, Qutab Minar, Mehrauli Dargah and Tuglakabad Fort are some of the places where the buggies may be allowed.

Manish Gupta, commissioner of SDMC, said that the corporation is willing to start the service again, provided the Delhi traffic police give their nod for certain tourist places.

"A group of students came to us with the proposal that the buggy wallahs, who were left unemployed in 2010 following the ban, should be rehabilitated by the newly formed corporation," he said.

In 2010, when the ban was implemented due to traffic congestion and chaos, more than 2,000 buggy owners were rendered jobless. At present, the use of horse-driven carriage is limited to weddings and religious procession only.

To ply buggies in tourist areas, the SDMC will have to amend its policy for grant of license. "We do not yet have a policy to govern the use of horse-drawn buggies in tourist places, so a new set of policies will have to be formulated. The policy will have to take care of animal rights," said a senior official of SDMC. He added that those rendered jobless due to the ban will be able to earn a decent living and tourism in the area will also receive a boost.

If the proposal comes into force, it will give a new lease of life to buggy and tonga owners such as Surinder Kapila from Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar. "If we are allowed to ply in tourist areas, it will bring a good income all through the year," he said.

However, the traffic police is waiting for the proposal to come to them and only after going through the multiple aspects of the scheme, they will decide on it. "Tonga and buggies lead to road congestion. We will wait for the proposal before commenting on it," said Sudhir Yadav, special commissioner of police, traffic.


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