KARACHI: Following the Supreme Court’s orders, the Sindh government imposed on Friday a ban on the parking of oil tankers in the city for 60 days.
According to a notification issued by the home department, the ban was imposed in an exercise of power conferred under section 144 (6) to pre-empt road accidents, oil spills, fires and other safety hazards, to ensure the safety of citizens and to regulate the flow of traffic.
Issuing the letter, the home secretary asked the Karachi commissioner to ensure that the ban is imposed in the city and directed oil tanker owners to park their vehicles at the Zulfikarabad Oil Tankers Terminal, which is spread over 150 acres.
“We have already communicated to the Karachi commissioner that the work for shifting of oil tankers from Shireen Jinnah Colony to Zulfikarabad is at its completion stage,” said the home secretary, adding that the terminal will become operational with effect from December 12, so a ban on the parking of tankers in the city must be ensured. Strict action will be taken against any oil tanker parked in the city, said a notification issued by the home department section officer (Judicial I). SHOs have been authorised to register complaints in writing for any violation of the ban, read the notification.
Earlier, the apex court had given orders to tanker owners in 2010 to find alternate places of parking and had asked the Sindh government to implement the decision. “Why is a mockery of the court’s order being made?” the court had questioned. The residents of Block 1, Clifton, were of the view that their life has become very difficult due to the continuous flow of heavy traffic, referring to the presence of oil tankers. However, Oil Tankers Owners’ Association had refused to obey the court order, giving an excuse that the Zulfikarabad Oil Terminal in the outskirts of the city did not have any proper facilities.
Meanwhile, the Oil Tankers Owners’ Association has threatened to go on strike if the notification is not withdrawn within the next 24 hours.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2016.