Horse or mule-drawn tongas that still run in the Walled City of Delhi will soon become a thing of the past. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has finalised plans to phase them out in two months and rehabilitate their owners under a new policy.
The policy, aimed at easing traffic congestion and preventing cruelty to animals, was given the go-ahead at the MCD Standing Committee meeting here on Thursday.
As per this scheme, over 230 existing tonga drivers in the city would be given alternative employment and their carriageways banned from the roads.
BJP councillor Vijender Gupta said: “These animals are subjected to cruelty by their owners and made to work for long hours in extreme conditions without proper food or water. Moreover, there is no space or demand for these slow-moving, animal-driven vehicles in the city in today’s age and time.”
At present tongas ply in Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazaar, near Old Delhi railway station, Minto Road and Delhi Gate among others and are used for ferrying passengers and carrying load.
The civic body has earmarked Rs.35 lakh for the rehabilitation of tonga owners.
Additional Commissioner, Veterinary and Education Department, Janak Digal said: “We will provide tehbazaris to licensed tonga owners. Those without valid licenses would be given financial assistance for purchase of CNG goods carriage auto-rickshaws.”