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Calcutta Hackney Carriage

On December 4 the Calcutta Hackney Carriage (Amendment) Bill 2006, banning hand rickshaws was passed. Introduced by Chinese traders in the early 1900s to transport goods, the humble hand rickshaw has transported Calcutta residents and visitors through rain and shine. There are around 6, 000 registered rickshaws and with almost three pullers working in shifts with each rickshaw there are almost 18, 000 rickshaw pullers facing unemployment.

While the rickshaw pullers face an uncertain future, it is certain that when the Bill eventually becomes law this enduring symbol of Calcutta will fade away.


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