Caution: 300,000 drivers have illegal licences
In a shocking revelation, Transport Minister Akhtar Hussain Jadoon told the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday that around 300,000 driving licences had been issued illegally in the province.
“Sindh is the only province in the country where the function of issuing driving licences and fitness certificates does not fall within the purview of the transport department,” he said while answering questions related to his department.
Over 161 acres of the transport department land across the province was under occupation, with the Rangers having occupied 54 acres in the city while the KESC six acres, he told the provincial assembly session. Also, the department had no right to levy and collect motor vehicles tax, Jadoon added.
Arbitrary increase in faresCommenting on an arbitrary increase in fares and overcrowded buses, the transport minister said his department had asked the deputy inspector general of traffic to take action.He said a committee had been formed under the orders of the Sindh High Court, which determined the fares.
The minister said the government had cracked down on substandard cylinders, and no incident of a cylinder explosion on a public transport vehicle had occurred in the last two months.He noted that the government had decided to give a 20 percent subsidy on the plying of CNG buses.
Jadoon said around 300,000 Qingqi rickshaws were now being registered as per orders of the SHC. He said around 100,000 motorcycle rickshaws were operating without any permit.Replying to a question by Zareen Majeed, the minister said the transport department had initiated four schemes for improving the transport system in the city and in other parts of the province.
The schemes are the computerisation of PTA/RAT’s offices, the rehabilitation of drivers’ training schools in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana, the plying of 500 CNG buses and the construction of bus terminals in Thatta, Badin and Mero Khan.
Adjournment motion for NPIW employees’ regularizationThe speaker disposed of an adjournment motion of Marvi Rashdi for the regularization of the employees of National Programme for Improvement of Watercourses (NPIW), who had been protesting outside the Karachi Press Club for the last 26 days.
The law minister opined that the house has already established a special committee to look into the regularization of services of all employees, thus this matter was already pending.
Pir Mazhar said they all have agreed over the regularization of services of NPIW employees but it would be advisable for the employees to call on the agriculture minister for the resolution of their problem instead of staging protest.
Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah said that two summaries have already been moved to the chief minister and the law ministry for the regularization of their services, therefore, any debate on this issue might “sabotage” the legitimate concern of the NPIW employees.
In an apparent reference to Pir Mazhar’s observation, Marvi Rashdi said that the employees were not following the “protest culture” but were compelled to do so.
Provincial minister Jam Madad recalled that the chief minister himself had given assurances before this house about three years ago for the regularization of their services, and called for expediting the matter.
The speaker observed that the NPIW workers were still on their jobs and receiving salaries. He said the matter might have been delayed due to financial implications. Nisar Khuhro disposed of the matter, saying, it was already pending before the house committee.