KARACHI: The Sindh High Court SHC on Wednesday restrained provincial transport authorities from issuing route permits onwards to the public transport vehicles without complying with motor vehicle and national highway safety laws.
A division bench of SHC headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam was seized with the petition filed by Haji Rab Nawaz, who submitted that minivans were being operated on intercity routes, which, he said, was a violation of court orders.
He submitted that locally assembled CNG kits were installed in these minivans, which were a death-trap for passengers, who were forced to use such vehicles due to a shortage of public transport.
The transport department official informed the court that permits had been issued to minivan operators due to a shortage of public transport.
The focal person appearing for the transport department submitted that certain measures could be taken to control such accidents of explosion of CNG cylinders installed in the vehicles which are rampant in the city.
It was submitted that the national highway authority by virtue of section 90 2 n of national highway safety ordinance, 2000 has been empowered to extend no objection certificate before any route permit for plying minivans on the national highway is obtained as a condition precedent by any regulatory authority issuing route permits.
He further submitted that rule 5.2 of the compressed National Gas Safety Rules, 1992, lays down a mechanism contemplating that safety of the passengers is to be ensured while permitting installation of such CNG cylinders.
The court directed the focal person to examine the provisions of law referred by him above and other safety, vehicle laws and other safety measures suggested by OGRA that need to be enforced to ensure safety of passengers.
The directed the transport department to not to issue route permits onward without complying with the provisions of National Highway safety laws and other motor vehicle laws.