Maharashtra’s Victoria owners, drivers to get ₹3 lakh, street vending licences
Mumbai city news: A policy to rehabilitate the owners and drivers has been drawn up, said the Maharashtra governmentmumbai Updated: Jul 07, 2017 00:00 IST
Every Victoria owner and driver in Maharashtra will be given Rs3 lakh in financial aid and a licence to operate as a street vendor, the state government told the Bombay high court on Thursday.
The state filed an affidavit saying a policy to rehabilitate the owners and drivers had been drawn up and a government resolution issued on June 16. The affidavit states that horse carriage owners and drivers will be eligible for a vendor license under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending Maharashtra Scheme).
“The state cabinet has instructed the animal husbandry department to frame a comprehensive policy to ensure the safety and health of the horses in this process. The owners may either sell their horses or give them to NGOs, which will care for the animals,” it added.
The affidavit was filed in response to a public interest litigation filed by city NGO Animals and Birds Charitable Trust, which alleged that using horses for joyrides on concrete roads in cities such Mumbai amounted to cruelty to these animals, under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
In June 2015, the high court acted on the PIL and asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to put a complete stop to these the iconic horse-drawn carriage rides. It said they were illegal and violated the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The court directed the state government to frame a comprehensive policy to rehabilitate the carriage owners, drivers and horses that were to be affected by the ban.