SWAT, June 16: The Tonga riding culture, which had disappeared in Swat district, has been revived once again in the area.
A Tonga rider of Qambar area, Mr Hanifa, says that his father and grandfather also used to ride Tongas. But during the last 30 years, the Suzuki pickups and rickshaws have replaced the Tonga driving. However, now people want to travel in Tongas once again.
He told TNN, “Tonga riding is not a profitable job but I ride it as I like it. People want to travel in Tongas as they enjoy travelling in it. I earn more or less 350 rupees a day.”
A resident, Mr Zahoor, who frequently travels in the Tongas, said, “I am travelling from Qambar area till Mingora city. Whenever someone travels in Tonga, he or she recalls old memories; that is why people enjoy it. I think commuters should use Tongas travel because it costs lesser.”
A Tanga or Tonga is a light horse-drawn carriage used for transportation in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Tangas are a popular mode of transportation because they are fun to ride in, and are usually cheaper to hire than a taxicab or rickshaw. However, in many cities, Tangas are not allowed to use highways because of their slow pace.
In Pakistan, tangas are mainly found in the older parts of cities and towns, and have become less popular for utilitarian travel and more popular for pleasure.