Images of India: Mumbai court bans horse-drawn ‘Victoria Carriages’…

_83503754_victoriaMumbai’s famous horse-drawn carriages, popularly known as “Victorias”, are “illegal” and must go off the city streets in a year. The court agreed with animal rights groups that the practice was cruel. Styled on open carriages used during Queen Victoria’s times, these horse-drawn carriages have been seen on Mumbai’s streets since British times and a ride on them has been one of Mumbai’s tourist attractions for decades. The single-horse carriages — decorated in bright, flashy lights, plastic flower garlands and tinsel ornaments — have long been a draw for visitors to Mumbai’s cramped streets. Carriage owners said the ruling makes no sense. In the days before cars existed, “it was not considered an atrocity for people to use horses for transportation. Even today when the Indian president takes a ride in a horse carriage for ceremonial purposes, no one questions it.” Carts pulled by horses, oxen or camels and used for transportation or labour are exempt.