Tongawallahs get do's and don'ts

Although, the advent of motor vehicles has overtaken tongas, it still remains one of the public modes of transportation. However, it’s only during Dasara that tongas enjoy royal patronage with the organisers and tourists preferring to board a tonga to rewind into the past.

Keeping it’s very significance in mind, the city police have given some pointers on do’s and don’ts to tongawallahs ahead of Dasara, ACP (Traffic) Shankaregowda told Deccan Herald.

Cops attached to K R Traffic police had summoned about 30 tongawallahs, in front of Ambavilas Palace recently. The Palace is located in the jurisdiction of K R Traffic and most of the tongawallahs in the city operate from the area allotted to them opposite to the Varaha gate of the Palace. Hence, the cops had arranged the meeting.

The cops warned them against ferrying tourists under the influence of liquor, and should not engage tongawallahs below 18 years of age to run the carriages. This assumes significance in the wake of the tongas being reined by underaged boys during normal days. Hygienic atmosphere has to be maintained by clearing the dung, with immediate effect. To bring in some discipline, the cops also assured them to allot temporary space in the surrounding. This is to avoid chaos and confusion that is created when the tongawallahs mob tourists to be hired by the latter. Tongas will be allowed to park at the lot in a row of two, and they will be replaced by another batch of two, as and when they leave to ferry people.

President, Mysore Shahpasand Tonga, Fayaz Ahmed welcomed the move on the part of the police. Quoting the words of the cops, he said they have also hinted at imposing a fine amount in case of any tongawallah found drunk, on move. It’s high time such measures are effected. Photos of the tongawallahs have been taken as a precautionary measure, he added.

On Tuesday too, tongawallahs had been summoned at the Palace, but by the Tourism Department and Dasara Tourism Sub-Committee. In all 40 tongas in fine conditions have been selected. On September 29, a meeting has been arranged at MCC.  

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