KARACHI: Hundreds of Qingqi rickshaw owners stood up against transporters and accused them of putting pressure on the government and imposing a ban on them.
These rickshaw drivers and owners, belonging to the All Karachi Qingqi Rickshaw Association (AKQRA), held a demonstration in front of the Karachi Press Club and marched towards the Chief Minister House. They accused the traffic police and transporters of deliberately creating problems for them.
AKQRA president Ghouse Khan said that the chief minister has issued a notification to provide registration to 100,000 rickshaws for Karachi. Presently, there are only 8,000 Qingqi rickshaws, he said.
“Influential transporters have turned the traffic police against us. They issue tickets against us and take the rickshaws into custody,” he complained. He added that the owners are poor and have to spend thousands of rupees to get their rickshaws released.
Khan believed that if the Qingqi rickshaws became popular, the transporters will suffer losses as they will provide cheaper service than buses. He added that the Sindh government has given 90 days for them to complete their registration and the deadline expires on April 5. The traffic police are, however, charging drivers under false cases and taking money from them. “Just recently they booked two drivers, Ghanoor Khan and Waleed Khan, who were running their rickshaws in Gulshan Block 13-D.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2011.