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Qingqi rickshaws granted legal permission to operate in Karachi

KARACHI: Motorcycle-rickshaws, commonly known as Qingqis, have been granted legal permission to operate on the roads of Karachi once again, provided they fulfill certain criteria.

Qingqi rickshaws, which were banned across the province by the Sindh High Court in 2015 on safety and legal concerns, will be allowed back on the roads once they have fulfilled 17 conditions. These conditions, which had been put forth by the Sindh Transport Department, include: 100cc motorcycles, capacity for four passengers, safety guards both in front and at the back of the vehicle, and side and front mirrors.

According to the All-Sindh Qingqi Motorcycle Rickshaws Association president Atif Raza, a Qingqi model fulfilling all these 17 criteria has been prepared which was approved by the Motor Vehicles Department in April last year.

Laws relating to the operation of Qingqis were also finalised in October 2016, Atif Raza pointed out.

The official added that the Qingqi Motorcycle Rickshaws Association has provided a comprehensive list of routes to the government, which is pending approval. Once the routes are approved, the Qingqi rickshaws will be back on Karachi roads, he said.

However, even after approval the Qingqis will not be allowed to run on main arteries of Karachi. Instead, they will only be granted permission to operate on the city’s link roads (internal routes).

The Sindh High Court, in August 2015, had imposed a ban on Qingqi rickshaws running without route permits and other necessary documentations across the province, and had directed provincial and city authorities, including traffic police, to ensure immediate legal action against Qingqis.

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