New Delhi: In a week, the old-world tonga
rides in the walled city of Delhi will be a thing of past.
The tongas or horse-drawn carriages which bring back
memories of the days of Raj to many Delhiites are being phased
out by the MCD, which has brought a rehabilitation scheme for
Officials said the civic body will not renew the licences
of tongawallas that will expire tomorrow and remove the stable
at Asaf Ali Road, which will be later converted into a road.
The corporation will start taking action against
tongawallas plying in the area from June 6 onwards, they said.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi had earlier said the
age-old mode of transport, which had long been seen as one of
the causes for increasing traffic congestion in the busy old
city area, will be phased out.
"There is no space for these slow-moving, animal-driven
vehicle in the city in today`s age. In addition to this, these
animals are subjected to cruelty by their owners. They are
made to work at a stretch for long hours in extreme conditions
without proper food," said Delhi BJP chief and councillor
Vijender Gupta, who had initiated the plan of phasing out
tongas during his chairmanship as MCD Standing Committee.
There are 232 licenced tonga owners in the city, apart
from 26 who have been plying without permission from the civic
These tongas ply in areas such as Chandni Chowk, Sadar
Bazaar, Trans-Yamuna areas, near Old Delhi Railway stations,
Seetaram bazaar, near Minto Road and Delhi Gate.
The MCD had earlier unveiled a Rs 35 lakh rehabilitation
scheme for the tonga owners.
It had said it will provide tehbazaris to the licenced
tonga owners, having one licence in their name in Shastri
Park. Those having more than one licence would be considered
for one tehbazari site and remaining upto a maximum of three
for financial assistance, one-third of the cost of the
vehicle, for purchase of CNG goods carriage auto rickshaws.
Those without valid licences will be given financial
assistance, one-fourth of the cost of the vehicle, for
purchase of CNG goods carriage auto rickshaws.
The policy was given a go-ahead at an MCD Standing
Committee meeting in November.