The 6th most populous country – Pakistan has a growing population of 195 million according to the latest census figures. However, such huge country still does not have a proper public transport system for the common people. As he/she commutes on daily basis from one place to another. The available means of transport for the low-income people are overflowing buses, taxi’s, qingqi rickshaws. Hence the evolved form of rickshaws, the three-wheelers –
Every now and then you might have seen on the road how these Qingqi rickshaw wala’s disregards the passenger’s safety. As they overcrowding their vehicle and ignoring the noise and environmental pollution they are creating. But besides this, they also facilitate thousands of citizens across the country with their low fares. So it is the only mode of transportation for poor people.
However, this popular mode of transportation – Qingqi rickshaws is now banned by the top court all across Pakistan on Wednesday. The apex court’s two-member bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmad issued the statement that registered and specially manufactured Qingqi rickshaws, no other Qingqi rickshaw shall allow to operate across the country.
Justice Ahmad highlighted the poor public transport system by stating that “Buses from the 1950s are still operational in Karachi, and noisy Qingqi rickshaws are running all over the country. These rickshaws are dangerous and often flip over while maneuvering sharp turns.”
According to him, the government has been operating Metro bus, Green Bus, and Orange Line Transport services. However, Qingqi rickshaw is not yet regularizing. He urged that the government must wake up and resolve this issue as soon as possible so the people must not lose their source of income.
Previously, an illegal Qingqi rickshaws ban has been imposed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan. Now the Sindh High Court (SHC) also ordered a legal action against Qingqi Rickshaw in Sindh. As the description of Qingqi rickshaws did not match the description of vehicles prescribed in terms of Rule 2(e), (f) and (ff) of the Motor Vehicles Rules, 1969.
When the buses are full of passengers and taxis are nowhere to be seen. Therefore, the commuters left with no alternative option to travel for their daily work. The blanket ban on the Qingqi rickshaws may be good in some ways as it will tend to control the noise/environmental pollution and traffic clogging. But on the other hand, the government should provide affordable means of the transport system for middle – class of Pakistan. A viable transportation system is the need of the hour. The government should plan a strategy to upgrade the public buses so that citizens can travel easily. Apart from this, the fares should be affordable and should develop a system to further keep a check on bus owners.
The cheapest mode of transportation – Qingqi rickshaws are now absent from the streets so commuters are facing difficulties. As they used to ply in those areas where no bus routes were available. The ground reality is that Pakistan still lacks in providing its citizens a viable public transport system facility. So that the people with limited resources can also commute without any problems. The ban on Qingqi rickshaws has further increased the transport crisis.