Chingchi rickshaw men to launch protest today

KARACHI: Thousands of people associated with Chingchi rickshaws are going to flex their muscles on roads on Sunday (today) against the decision of banning Chingchis on main arteries.

Gen Secretary All Karachi Chingchi Rickshaw Welfare Association Irfan Hyder told PPI that they were going to stage a protest rally from Numaish Chowrangi to Karachi Press Club for their right of business as citizens of the state.

“Where will thousands of people go after abrupt halting of operation of Chingchi rickshaws,” he asked.

Replying a query he said it was incomprehensible that earning through hardworking was illegal in big cities and running criminal dens of drug smuggling and brothels in the city was not.

In view that the condition of public transport system in Karachi is already pathetic there seems no immediate alternative available for Chingchis. Consequently, thousands of citizens plus the people associated with Chingchi business would have to suffer.

Spokesperson for Sindh transport minister Shakeel Dogar said the case was lodged in the best interest of citizens and on the basis of complaints made by them.

“At once, we were even considering it to be legalized by giving them route permit, but it could not become possible. Because, nowhere in the world this kind of transport is found on main roads,” he said.

He said operation of dangerous makeshift rickshaws which did not pass physical fitness test could not be tolerated in the city.

He assured that the Sindh government had expedited work on three bus lines to be initiated soon, which were Green Line, Orange Line and Yellow Line. Apart from this, work on Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) was also being looked into to get it done at earliest.

Director Karachi Mass Transit Cell Fazal Karim Khatri said the process to bring Green Line bus service, to be built by the federal government, was fast and it would take 12 months to get it completed after its construction starts.

“Yellow Line, 26 km, and Orange Line, 4 km, will also be built along Green Line,” he said.