Tuesday, September 8, 2009

BAN ON PILLION RIDING: Citizens lose Rs 15 mln daily

By S J A Jafri

It is said that there were no plans by the government to lift ban on pillion riding as the prevailing situation was not conducive for it these days.
According to an expert of transport, more than five lac people daily travel with pillion riders on motorcycles and scooters. A rough estimate indicates that without pillion riding, the to and fro double fare from and to home and desired destination daily costs at least Rs 30 per person. This was a huge benefit for the public transporters who get extra passengers in buses, and also an extra income allegedly with a share in the booty meant for the police too, the expert said.
The transport expert said if the figure of Rs 30 is multiplied with five lack, the cost comes to Rs 1.5 crore daily, and if this is taken to a month it becomes Rs 45 crores in a month. In eight months with ban on pillion riding, the transporters have allegedly minted more than Rs 360 crores.
The transport expert said: This a transport and police mafia which has forced the government to impose ban on pillion riding and this was causing huge benefit to transporters.

The transport mafia is getting full benefit and it is alleged that they have paid huge bribes to police and Home Department to impose ban on pillion riding.
The Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza after imposing ban since last eight months may not have fully considered how much citizens of Karachi are suffering, with this daily cost of Rs 1.5 crore daily they have to pay in fares.
The heavy rainfalls in city also caused more agony for the citizens as the transporters withdrew their buses and commuters faced hardships at bus stops.
The government’s reason to impose ban on pillion riding was reported to be the fear of terrorists, suicidal attacks and targeted killings carried out with help of pillion riding too. However, CCPO Karachi Waseem Ahmed has recently already said that targeted killing was on the rise in Karachi.
There is already shortage of public transport in the city as 1200 khatara buses are no good to ply whereas at least 2500 buses are required for commuters who were forced to travel on roof tops of the buses and mini-buses, packed inside as the poor and middle class people travel daily in the buses and mini-buses.
There is no ban on pillion riding in any part of the country though law and order situation was bad in many other different parts. A member of NGO said Karachiites are being victimized as a result of the ban on the pillion riding. (NC)

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