SC deadline: Transport deptt may fail to bring Qingqi rickshaws back on roads

KARACHI: Sindh Transport Department seems unable to finalize process of bringing Qingqi rickshaws back on roads in view of Supreme Court of Pakistan’s order to allow the vehicles on city’s roads on condition of ensuring safety, fitness and registration within three months.

After removal of ban on plying of these rickshaws in the country by Supreme Court, the provincial transport department has failed to bring them back on the city’s roads for facilitating daily commuters including children, women and old men, who have been facing the acute shortage of public transport in the mega city.

There is no restriction on the Qingqi rickshaws for plying on city’s link roads if they rectify their 18 engineering defects plus they get fitness and registration certificates from Sindh Transport Department, said Sindh Transport Department’s Component Manager Yar Mohammad.

The lack of hydraulic and reverse brakes, and safe infrastructure are among the defects identified by the department which needs to be rectified first by manufacturing companies and the owners of these rickshaws as these faults are more dangerous for commuters, particularly for old men, women and children, the official said.

He further said the SC in its direction also stated that it is essential that each Qingqi rickshaw be declared fit in all features and then they should be allowed to ply only “on the specified routes”.

It may be noted that a ban was imposed on qingqi rickshaws in August last year in all the provinces after a petition was filed in the court by a civil rights campaigner, Rana Faizul Hasan, in 2012. The petitioner had asked the court to ban the three-wheelers operating in the metropolis without permits, registration and licence plates. Later, DIG Traffic launched a crackdown against the three-wheelers under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965, driving hundreds of them off the roads.

Yar Mohammad further added that after their fitness and registration of those bike rickshaws, only licensed drivers would be allowed to drive the rickshaws in the city.