Qingqi association to go to court against ban

Senator Taj Haider also requests court to reconsider decision as it makes the common man suffer

Our Correspondent August 09, 2015
The three-wheelers were declared unsafe and a risk to commuters by the court. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The All Karachi Qingqi Rickshaw Welfare Association has decided to opt for the legal way against the ban on the three-wheelers in Karachi.

According to the president of the association, Syed Safdar Shah Qadri, an appeal against the ban on the six-seat CNG and four-seat motorcycle Qingqis will be submitted in the Sindh High Court (SHC) after consulting all the stake holders. He said that they will opt for a legal solution and will register an appeal against the decision as was their right. He was of the opinion that there were no 12-seat CNG rickshaws in the city. "Only six- and nine-seat CNG rickshaws were plied on the roads," he said, adding that they were just like 'normal two-seat auto-rickshaws'. According to him, the four-seat CNG rickshaw has been approved under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance and it was illegal to impound them. Qadri further pointed out that they had voluntarily halted all Qingqis in the city and it was illegal to confiscate them.

Read: With Qingqis gone, Karachi desperate for other means of transport

The general secretary of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Sindh chapter, Senator Taj Haider, also requested the SHC to reconsider the decision to ban the three-wheeler Qingqi rickshaws across the province. He said that due to the ban, thousands of people had been deprived of their source of income, adding that the common man already suffers from a lack of transport facilities.

Finding solutions

Speaking about the vehicle's design, Haider agreed that safety measures were ignored by the makers of the three-wheelers to transport more passengers from one place to another. He further agreed that overloaded Qingqis had become an unsafe means of transport because of drivers' negligence. However, he said, it was not a solution to ban them abruptly, instead of suggesting and imposing safety measures. According to him, this decision has created new and complicated problems for the common people of Sindh.

Read: Why does this author of 12 books in Faisalabad drive a Qingqi?

Haider said that the Sindh transport department, with the help of NED University of Engineering and Technology, has recommended safety measures for these three-wheelers, adding that the provincial government has received a legal draft for safety measures' implementation. "Instead of banning them completely, it would be better to give six months to drivers and owners to adopt safety measures," he suggested. According to him, overloading should be banned while speed limits, stops and routes should be ascertained and strictly implemented.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2015. 

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S.R.H. Hashmi | 5 years ago | Reply There has been a practice in our country of even superior judiciary occasionally accommodating demands from powerful groups like legitimizing takeover of government by Generals, and justifying such acts under what is called the ‘The Doctrine of Necessity’. However, in the case of thousands of Qingqi drivers and millions of non-privileged class men, women and children including students who use Qingqis, Sindh High Court had no hesitation in banning these vehicles. Before issuing its verdict, at least the court could have asked as to what alternative arrangements have been made for the millions of people who are dependent on this convenient and affordable means of transport for them and whether they are adequate to meet the demand. While the masses have no expectations from the government to act in their favour, people had some hopes from the courts but looks like even they are not much interested in their well-being and by the stroke of a pen, have placed millions of people in a miserable situation. With large buses almost non-existent, wagons too full with people sitting on bus tops and two-seater rickshaws and taxis unaffordable to the vast majority of people, just what are they supposed to do? And they are not Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories or Muslims in Indian-occupied Kashmir, but Pakistanis who have been placed in this situation by their own government and courts. One of the reasons given by the Provincial Transport Secretary for seeking ban on Qingqis was that these were extremely dangerous and prone to cause road accidents adding, they could not let commuters travel on such unsafe rides. Now that is odd. Since when did the government become interested in the well-being of the masses? After all, it is the government which supplies un-chlorinated water to the people, takes no step to prevent mixing of even dangerous material with food items, and lets garbage pile up in heaps in residential areas without worrying the least bit about these or other health hazards. Another objection is that Qingqis are unregistered. Here, the obvious answer is to arrange their registration on urgent basis, through mobile teams, if necessary. According to an earlier ET report, Tuaha Farooqui claimed that the Bus Rapid Transport was the only permanent solution for the city. However, that has not even started yet. Moreover, we had Karachi Road Transport Corporation and Green Bus Schemes but they all failed due to massive corruption. Based on this experience, people can hardly have much hope about the promised Rapid Bus Transport System which is still a long time away. Just what are the people supposed to do in the meantime? What sort of interest the government has in solving the transport problem of the city can be judged by the fact that Karachi once had a Circular Railway system which, at its peak, ran more than hundred trains a day was closed down for making a small loss which was more due to corruption rather than the system being unfeasible. Also, while KCR was closed down for making a negligible loss, other enterprises makes losses many hundred times of that were allowed to continue. Moreover, twice the Japanese government offered loan with negligible interest rates and long repayment period to reinstate the circular railway system, but on both occasions the loan lapsed because the government failed to complete the preparatory work in time. And here thousands of Qingqi drivers who hire these from owners and earn a few hundred rupees after a hard day’s work, and the owners of these Qingqis whose only source of income is the daily rental they receive, will suddenly lose their source of income, forcing their families to start starving right away. And there would be millions of people, men, women and children, desperately looking for transport and not finding any, with regular two-seater rickshaws being beyond their means. Seeing the performance of governments, people have stopped pinning hopes on them. However, the government should at least have the decency not to withdraw whatever little essential services have been made available to public through private enterprise. Also, the courts should should not just accede to government requests without ensuring that at least some affordable alternative is offered to people before withdrawing the available mode of transport. Karachi
roadkashehzada | 5 years ago | Reply where were judiciary and civil administration when these vehicles popped up during last 10-15 yrs? first we create an issue and once its fully grown up we try to fight it head on
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