KARACHI: Almost all the rickshaws and taxis working on the roads of Karachi do not have the mandatory fitness certificates, maintains a petition filed in the Sindh High Court here on Thursday.
The petition filed by a local NGO, Human Voice Welfare Association, maintained that the rickshaw and taxi operators, in collusion with officials, are causing a loss of millions of rupees every year to the government by ignoring fitness certificates. There are an estimated 60,000 auto rickshaws and 15,000 taxis.
The petitioner also maintained that more that 60% of the rickshaws and taxis are not fitted with fare meters either as a result of which they charge clients exorbitantly. The meter is also a mandatory requirement under the law. It also claimed that 80% of these vehicles violating the Motor Vehicle Ordinance are owned by police officials.
The traffic police and motor vehicle transport department are ignoring these blatant violations of the law and their lack of action is encouraging others to follow suit.
The petitioner requested the court to direct the respondents to do their duty honestly and efficiently and check the fitness of all private transport vehicles, ensure the enforcement of section 39 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965, to direct the association concerned to ask its members to fit their vehicles with meters and to charge fares as set by the government . The court was also requested to direct the traffic DIG to check vehicles causing environmental pollution.
After hearing the arguments of advocate Abid Hussain, a division bench of the court, comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Nadeem Akhtar, put the Sindh transport secretary, the director of excise and taxation, the DIG and president of the Karachi Rickshaw and Taxi Owners Association and Advocate General of Sindh on notice for an unspecified date.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.