A group of youngsters are trying to convince the owners and drivers of horsedrawn carriages near Victoria Memorial and the Maidan to switch to e-carriages. There are more than 60 horse-drawn carriages in Kolkata that around 200 horses pull.
The Cape Foundation and Peta, an NGO, had filed a joint PIL at Calcutta High Court seeking a ban on horse-drawn carriages around Victoria Memorial. The court has directed the state government to form a comprehensive policy on horse-drawn carriages.
As an alternative to the horse-drawn carriage, an e-carriage that resembles a phaeton and is powered by batteries was showcased to the horse carriage owners and operators. Several owners and drivers had turned up at Hastings police station where the carriage was stationed. “The horses that pull carriages here are often malnourished and are ill-treated by their owners as well,” said Radhika Bose, who runs Cape Foundation, an NGO.
Mohammed Firoze, who owns three phaetons that ply on the Victoria Memorial and Maidan belt, said the livelihoods of at least 150-odd families depended directly on the trade.