KARACHI: Pasban-e-Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor said on Wednesday that providing public transport facility to citizens is the constitutional responsibility of the government, as it could run the wheel of economy and jobs creation mechanism; however; present and previous governments have never paid serious consideration to this important sector.
He said this while addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club. Shakoor said public transport issue is matter of more than 20 million Karachiites, but the Sindh government and Karachi administrations lack interest in resolving the issue.
He said Regional Transport Authority (RTA) is working in all four provinces and had made provincial transport policies to implement them in their respective areas. He said Punjab government had done praiseworthy work in urban transport, but Sindh public transport sector had remained totally neglected in this regard.
Shakoor said in the past, Sindh Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) and Karachi Transport Corporation (KTC) were established, but the corrupt rulers looted them with both hands as a result, those resourceful corporations were brought to their logical end.
He said in whole world, 80% of urban public transport runs by the governments and remaining 20% by private sector, but in Pakistan, the share of government in public transport is less than 1%.
A senior Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan Lawyer Javed Ahmed Chhatari, who hands transportation issues for three years, said according to President of Pakistan Self Employment Scheme, 0.1 million bike rickshaws were imported from China and given to poor and jobless people on instalments through the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). He said seeing the patronage of government to these rickshaws, many industries also got permission to manufacture those. Later, many big factories were established. He said the government is receiving 16% sales tax per rickshaw’s value.
Talking about the registration of mini-transport, he said in Pakistan, except Karachi, this same vehicle is registered in various cities of Punjab and Sindh provinces. He said corrupt officials for sake of their self-interests had banned these rickshaws.
Chhatari said a crackdown was conducted on the job sources of some 60000 families as police even impounded their rickshaws parked at homes.
Shakoor demanded of Sindh government to immediately form a committee for issuing temporary route permits to these rickshaws and release those impounded illegally.