KARACHI: A modified form of Qingqi, motorcycle rickshaw (MCR), is all set to again hit the roads of Karachi, announced All Karachi Qingqi Rickshaw Welfare Association (AKQRWA) on Thursday.
During a press conference, AKQRWA president Safdar Shah Qadri presented the model of the Qingqi approved by the Provincial Transport Authority (PTA) of the Sindh government.
In its January 6 order, the Supreme Court had directed Qingqi owners to conform to certain specifications after which they could come out on the streets. The order stated that the seating capacity of the Qingqi be limited to four people with a safety guard installed at the front and back for safety of travellers, whereas, the engine of the Qingqi or motorcycle rickshaws must not be below 100cc. The vehicle should be factory assembled with hydraulic brakes, and the size of the front and rear wheels should be 22 and 16 inch in diameter, it was directed.
Qingqi owners want to be back on the road
MCR has hydraulic brakes as well as a hand brake, said association’s coordination secretary Vahidy while speaking to The Express Tribune.
A small windscreen, adorned with truck art, is attached at the front top of the MCR, with a viper. Two colourful sideview glasses are also attached with the windscreen. It also comprises indicators, back lights and a chain cover. It also contains an arm rest to facilitate the passengers.
According to Vahidy, the vehicle will be brought on the roads within a week. The routes have yet to be decided with the consent of PTA, he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Qadri claimed that MCR model has been approved and only the permit and registration of the vehicles is left. He urged the government to exempt MCR from the exact specifications of hydraulic break as their cost is quite high. The parts of hydraulic break are scarce in the city, he said.
Delaying comeback: Qingqi owners decry new conditions
Sahoolat Transport Autos is certified workshop of the PTA, it is the place where the design of Qingqi has been altered, said Vahidy. Franchises of the Sahoolat Transport Autos are in all areas of Karachi, including North Karachi, Orangi Town, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Landhi and Lalukhet, he added.
Not so soon
The registration fee of the MCR would be decided by the excise and taxation department, said PTA secretary Ghazanfar Qadri. The MCRs would not be allowed to come on the roads immediately, he added.
First, the drivers will have to alter their Qingqis according to the specification from certified workshops. Then, they have to obtain fitness certificate from the motor vehicle inspection centres and get their vehicles registered with the excise department, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2016.