Victoria owners in Mumbai to get hawker licences and compensation
Ninety-one owners and 130 drivers of the Victorias will now be given a compensation of Rs3 lakh or Rs1 lakh and a hawker license in south Mumbai.mumbai Updated: May 23, 2017 09:13 IST
You will not see Victorias in south Mumbai now because the state cabinet has approved the rehabilitation proposal for the carriage owners and drivers. Ninety-one owners and 130 drivers of the Victorias will now be given a compensation of Rs3 lakh or Rs1 lakh and a hawker license in south Mumbai.
After animal activists filed a public interest litigation, the Bombay high court in June 2015 had directed the government to ban the horse-drawn carriages and rehabilitate their operators by December 2015. The state had formed a committee headed by finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, which held two meetings and proposed the rehabilitation package. The cabinet approved it on Monday.
Victoria operators will be given hawkers licenses. According to a cabinet minister, the operators will preferably be given licences in south Mumbai. The cabinet has also appointed a committee to plan the rehabilitation of the horses. It will take the help of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and NGOs.
Though animal activists have welcomed the step, horse operators have expressed unhappiness over the compensation. "The compensation is nothing if we compare it to our business of so many years. We had no say in the procedure and had to settle for the amount. We demand more,” said Hassan Allarakha, one of the carriage owners.
"It is a good decision by the government as Victoria operators wanted to shift to other professions. It had become difficult for them to run their business and maintain the horses. With the help of the new licences and compensation, the drivers and owners may start other professions. We will help them treat the sick horses and get a good compensation by selling the them outside Mumbai," said Ambika Nijjar, legal advisor for People for Animals, one of the petitioners.