MUMBAI: You will soon be able to ride on those quaint Victoria tongas, minus the clip-clop sound of horses’ hooves. The battery-operated carriages are set to roll out in parts of south Mumbai from next month. The state transport department has cleared a proposal to allow the electric carriages around Gateway of India where the traditional horsedrawn carriages careened for close to a century.
Initially, 10 carriages, each of which can carry six persons, will run on routes near Gateway of India, Marine Drive and Nariman Point, said officials. The fare for a ride is still to be fixed.
Licences to ride the e-carriages will be issued to those who had lost their livelihood after Bombay HC banned horsedriven Victorias in June 2015. The carriages were a familiar sight on the streets of south Mumbai since colonial times. Transport minister Anil Parab told TOI, “We’ve given an inprinciple approval to the electric Victoria plan. It will be rolled out soon.” “Victorias were a part of the city’s heritage… It will be great to have them back. By giving licences to the old riders, we will also be able to rehabilitate them.” A spokesperson from Ubo Ridez, the firm that manufactures the e-carriages, said the battery-operated carriages have a maximum speed of 20 km per hour. The carriages will be GPS-enabled and fitted with speakers,” he said.