Karachi: Instead of giving a serious focus to revamp the pathetic public transport sector of megacity Karachi, the provincial government of Sindh is now even intimidating and discouraging private sector’s bold initiatives to give some respectable commuting facilities to the Karachiites, said Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Monday.
Expressing concern over media reports that some private initiatives to facilitate Karachi commuters are being discouraged by the Sindh transport department on pretext of vehicle fitness, he reminded that historically the role of Sindh transport department has always remained biased to Karachi and Karachiites. He asked from the Sindh transport department how many old, broken and smoky buses and mini-buses plying today on streets of Karachi are road-fit. He said if engine-fitness of public transport vehicles in Karachi is done honestly, 99percent of these old, shabby and smoky minibuses and coaches would go directly to junkyard.
He said the Sindh transport department only knows one language and that is the language of bribery and corruption. He said the new tactics of the rulers of Sindh to discourage private public transport initiatives seems nothing but new tactics to export bribe money from them. He said the Sindh transport department never cares about rules and laws, but its greed for bribe money is simply unsatisfied.
Altaf Shakoor said illegal intra-city bus terminals are operating with immunity in busy residential areas of Saddar in Karachi, but the Sindh transport department turns its blind eye to this blatant violation of law and rule. He said this department does not see laws, rules and regulations about bus terminals, only because owners of these illegal transport terminals or ‘Addas’ give hefty bribes to the corrupt officials of Sindh transport department. He said the government of Sindh, itself, is the main hurdle in an early revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), as well as, completion of lingering bus rapid transit projects like Green Line. He said all this anti-Karachi policies are aimed at to punish the Karachiites and deprive the commuters of this megacity from modern public transport facilities. He said this mentality of provincial rulers of Sindh is a deep-rooted dark conspiracy against Karachi commuters, which should be stopped immediately.
Altaf Shakoor demanded stopping of open and hidden harassment of private commuting initiatives in Karachi and instead of discouraging them, generous incentives should be given to them. He reminded the government of Sindh and its transport department that improving commuting system in megacity would boost the economy of Karachi, as well as, Sindh and help to generate and collect more revenue.
He asked to transfer notorious corrupt officials from transport and traffic related departments of Sindh government and replace them with honest officers of good repute and integrity. He said it is high time that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari should personally intervene and get stopped the unbridled bribery in Sindh transport department. He also urged Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to himself patronage the most neglected sector of Karachi, public transport sector, as it will not only facilitate the citizens but also improve the political image of his party.