No more night rides on Victorias along Marine Drive
The carriages will be allowed to operate only between 12 pm and 5 pm at Marine Drive and Fort; in Gorai Village, they will be allowed to operate from 6 am to 6 pm
After NGOs protested against the cruelty meted out to Victoria horses in the city and road repair works narrowing the path of the horses, making it risky for them to navigate, the Mumbai traffic police has come up with a plan to make things work. They have chalked out a time schedule for the plying of Victoria carriages in the city and have banned them in other parts.
The traffic police have been in favour of banning Victorias in the city as they believe that the horses are afraid of traffic and constant honking, resulting in accidents and traffic jams
Victorias will be permitted to ply only in Fort, NS Road and Gorai areas as per the given timetable. The Bombay High Court had directed the Traffic chief to come to a consensus on this issue as the Victorias were creating traffic problems along the narrow roads in south Mumbai. The safety of horses was another important concern raised by NGOs.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah had directed the city’s traffic police chief to decide and come up with timings for the plying of Victorias in the city. An NGO, Animals and Birds Charitable Trust, had filed a petition in the court in May this year regarding proper implementation of timings for the plying of carriages.
The traffic police have been in favour of banning Victorias in the city as they believe that the horses are frightened of traffic and constant honking and are difficult to tackle, often leading to accidents and traffic jams.
“We have issued a timing for the movement of Victorias in the city.
There was a strong demand for this from many NGOs and also Victorias were creating traffic and parking problems. These carriages are now used for entertainment purposes unlike earlier times when they were used for transportation and so we decided to issue the timings,” said Keshav Patil, additional commissioner of police, Mumbai Traffic police.
“At present, there are 59 Victorias in the city, but the number is slowly dwindling. Our stand was very firm to not renew any licences, but the court has asked us to reconsider the matter if the horses are being looked after well in terms of proper health care and hygienic food,” said Joint Commissioner of police, Mumbai Traffic, Dr B K Upadhyay.
On NS Road (Marine Drive), Chowpatty stretch and Fort in south Mumbai, Victorias will be allowed to operate from 12 pm to 5 pm. In Gorai Village in Borivli, they will be allowed to work from 6 am to 6 pm. The traffic police have banned Victorias in Colaba, Juhu and most of the areas near Gateway of India.
Number of Victorias left in the city, according to traffic police