Kolkata: There are more than eight thousand hand-pulled rickshaws in Kolkata, according to Mayor Shovan Chatterjee.
"As per Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) records there are 8780 licenced hand-pulled rickshaws in the metropolis," Chatterjee told KMC Councillors.
The Mayor said the KMC has taken a decision not to renew the licences for the hand-pulled rickshaws as the KMC wants to phase them out but no decision has been taken on this matter.
Kolkata is probably the only city in India where hand-pulled rickshaws are still plying.
Many people see hand-pulled rickshaws as symbols of inhumanity and want that they should be banned.
In August 2005, the then Left Front government of West Bengal announced plans to completely ban pulled rickshaws, resulting in protests and strikes by the rickshaw pullers.
In 2006, the then chief minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, announced that hand-pulled rickshaws would be banned and that rickshaw pullers would be rehabilitated.