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Aarohi
07-29-2017, 04:03 PM
Now You Can Ride Around Kolkata In India's First Air-Conditioned Horse Carriage
Sovon Manna

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In a city where tram employees turned a ramshackle Raj-era relic into a cool ride, here's another doit-yourself innovation that's uber-cool - an airconditioned horse carriage.

Aarohi
07-29-2017, 04:04 PM
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The DIY guy is Sujit Sil, who owns six horse carriages and let his imagination gallop wild one particularly sultry and sweaty day . "I am always game for doing something unique. I wanted to ramp up the decor of my coaches with intricate wooden work, like the ones you see in Varanasi and Lucknow. During my research I came across coaches in England and Switzerland," he told TOI. The Queen has one. Why shouldn't the former Raj capital have one, too? Sil scoured the city and found a craftsman to transform his coach, a Victorian-legacy , into a "royal landau carrier", fitted with a 0.75-tonne air conditioner. Turning an open carriage into an insulated, see-through coach wasn't easy, of course.

Aarohi
07-29-2017, 04:04 PM
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"Initially, we tried out revolving glass panes, but they kept breaking because there isn't enough space in the stable. So, we put up thick, transparent plastic curtains," Sil said. The carriage was put out on hire only after a month-long test run. One of the early patrons was Shuvankar Dutta and his family , who chanced upon the mahogany-coloured AC coupe on a sweltering afternoon on the Maidan last month.They couldn't believe their eyes. "An air-conditioned tanga gaari on Gorer Maath (Maidan)! We all wanted to give it a try," said Dutta, who booked it for an afternoon-toevening package of Rs 6,000.

Aarohi
07-29-2017, 04:05 PM
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Sil charges Rs 10,000-15,000 a night depending on the distance. He has to factor in the cost of a diesel generator and maintenance of the landau and AC. And, his cool carriage is much in demand during the marriage season. Nigel Gomes of Entally fo und it perfect to surprise his guests on her daughter's wedding. "I was thinking of something unique rather than an AC hatchback.My relatives got star-struck with this coach," said an elated Gomes.