Solve public transport issue on humanitarian grounds, demands Pasban

Karachi: Pasban e Pakistan has suggested that the issue of Chingchi rickshaws should be resolved in the larger interest of Karachiites on pure humanitarian grounds, as millions of commuters of this mega city have been suffering after these handy public transport vehicles are kept off road.

Pasban Public Issues Committee’s chairman Abu Bakar Usman said nine-seat CNG rickshaws were introduced by the government under its self-employment scheme and bank loans were given by the government for buying them. He said not providing the rickshaws coming under this government scheme is a sheer injustice.

According to details, Pasban e Pakistan staged a big protest demo in front of Karachi Press Club (KPC) here on Sunday that was also participated by a large number of commuters and citizens. The protestors demanded to resolve the lingering issue of public transport in the city and rein in the corrupt transport department officials and transporter mafia men.

Addressing on the occasion, Abu Bakar Usman said the ban on Chingchi rickshaws has created a lot of problems for the Karachiites. He asked when the 9-seater CNG rickshaws were being imported in Pakistan in which category they were cleared by the Customs. He asked when these rickshaws became the major mode of public transport in Karachi why the Sindh transport department failed to regularize them at that time. He said before banning the Chingchi rickshaws these questions should have been asked from the Sindh transport secretary.

Pasban leader said not only thousands of families depending on income generated from Chingchi rickshaws are facing starvation like situation but millions of commuters of the city have also been facing immense problems. He said this is truly a humanitarian problem and it should be urgently resolved in the larger interest of public.

On the occasion, Pasban leaders Abdul Hakim Quaid, Tariq Chandiwalla, Sheikh Mohammad Shakeel, Sardar Zulfiqar, Akram Agaria, Akhtar Qureshi, Zafar Iqbal and the representatives of Chingchi Rickshaw Union Salim Ahmed, Safdar Shah, Ali and Akbar also spoke.

They maintained that as this is an issue concerning with the lives and livelihood of people of Karachi, hence it should be resolved legally. They said these rickshaws have been serving people in whole country but they are banned only in Karachi. They said the present rulers and their past ruling partners have looted Karachi and its resources with both hands. He said these corrupt politicians who used to ride minibuses and motorcycles, after looting Karachi today are travelling in bulletproof cars. They said till Karachi is not given the administrative status of a separate province its issues would stay and its people continue to suffer.

They said the provincial government and its transport department officials are responsible for the issues related to Chingchi rickshaw but instead of taking action against them the citizens of Karachi have been punished.

They said presently Karachi has the poorest urban public transport system in whole world. They said the routes of minibuses and coaches are devised to facilitate transporters and not general public. They said commuters have to change two to three minibuses to reach their destinations.

They said the culture of blackmailing by transporters to the government should be ended. They appealed that the decision to ban Chingchi rickshaws should be revised in the public interest and these three-wheelers should be properly regularized to facilitate commuters.

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