KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) was Thursday informed that the Sindh Transport Department had amended Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1965 to allow motorcycle-rickshaws, called ‘Qingqi’, to ply on their designated routes in Karachi. Advocate Munawar Ali, representing the operators of Qingqi rickshaws, submitted this while contending a petition of motorcycle-rickshaw drivers, who moved to court against the harassment by Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and traffic police of Karachi. A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam was hearing the petitions filed by the operators of motorcycle-rickshaws and Karachi Transporters Ittehad (KTI). KTI sought direction for RTA and traffic police to stop the operations of three-wheel Qingqi bike rickshaws, stating that they caused environmental as well as noise pollution and violated the environmental and traffic laws. Second petition was moved by the operators of motorcycle-rickshaws against the RTA and DIG Traffic Karachi for allegedly harassing them. Qingqi rickshaw drivers submitted provincial authorities had allowed the operations of four-stroke rickshaws in Sindh through an official notification issued in April 2007.
In pursuant to notification, motorcycle-rickshaws were plying on certain link roads. They stated now RTA and traffic police were hindering their operations. They prayed to issue directions to the official respondents to start registration of bike rickshaws and issue them route permits. On Thursday, Advocate Munawar Ali for petitioners placed on record a copy of government notification dated Feb 21, 2011 wherein the Sindh government in exercise of Section 69 of the Provincial Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965, had made amendment to the article 2, clause FF of West Pakistan Motor Vehicle Rules 1969. The amendment provides, Qingqi which means a motorcycle within three wheels, laden weight of which does not exceed 900 pounds avoirdupois, constructed, adapted or used for private purpose, other than for him or reward, to carry out more than four persons excluding the driver on designated routes. After hearing, SHC division bench order said: “It appears that the transport department has proposed amendment to the article 2, clause FF definition of Motorcycle Rickshaw Qingqi has been added, which is in the process of approval. Learned counsel for petitioners has placed on record a copy of notification dated Feb 21, 2011, whereby amendment has been made. It is expected same will be published in Provincial Gazette to make it effective.” Hearing was adjourned to a date in office. – Dailytimes