The Sindh High Court has summoned the provincial transport department’s secretary along with a proposal for mitigating the poor state of public transport in the province by August 21.
The court has been striving to ensure the people get better transportation facilities ever since it received a citizen’s complaint on July 2010 about the indifferent attitude of the commercial transporters towards improving transport and inaction on the part of the officials in traffic police and transport departments.
The complainant, Muhammad Ramzan Khan, said that the private vehicles of the commercial transporters were plying on various routes across the city in poor conditions. “Their fitness has expired but the transport operators are not renewing them as they pay bribe to the excise department.”
Khan said that people from the working class travel in the worn out vehicles in unsafe conditions. “The damaged engines of the public buses are also causing diseases like allergy, tension and asthma,” he said.
He also drew the attention of the judges towards the causalities in the accidents involving faulty public buses. He alleged that the traffic police officials in collusion with the transporters were failing to take action against such unfit vehicles. “Due to bhatta mafia and corruption, the entire system has been paralysed causing problems for the commuters.” The complainant had pleaded to the court to order Karachi traffic police’s officials to act against unfit public transport.
On December 18, 2012, the court had ordered the transport secretary to constitute a committee tasked with devising a mechanism to determine age limit for the public buses as done by the government in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
On Friday, Additional Advocate General Muhammad Rafiq Rajvari informed the judges that a report called by the court on previous date had not yet been submitted by the department concerned and requested for further time to do the same.
Taking serious note of the situation, the bench summoned the transport secretary along with detailed and comprehensive report as well as proposal for mitigating the poor state of transport in the province. “Such should be done without fail,” ordered Justice Maqbool Baqar who was heading the bench that adjourned the hearing till August 21.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2013.
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