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May 23, 2020

Intercity bus operations may resume after finalisation of SOPs, SHC told

Karachi

May 23, 2020

The Sindh government has been conducting meetings with the intercity buses owners associations for the resumption of intercity bus operations, a provincial law officer has told the Sindh High Court (SHC).

During the hearing of a petition of transporter associations, representatives of the associations submitted that they had submitted some viable proposals to the Sindh transport department for the intercity bus operations.

They submitted that the Punjab government had issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the operation of intercity buses and the same had been issued to all the secretaries and district regional transport authorities for enforcement in the intercity bus operations in Punjab. The petitioners added that the operation of intercity buses had also been started in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the restriction was only imposed in Sindh.

The provincial law officer submitted that the government was already in contact with the intercity bus transporters’ associations and SOPs had to be issued on the basis of medical advice of experts. He said after proper meetings and discussions, the possibility of opening the intercity buses would be considered.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar directed the provincial law officer to file comments by June 1. During an earlier hearing, a home department official had informed the SHC that the intercity bus transporters had not given any viable proposal for the resumption of their bus operations during the coronavirus crisis and if they submitted any proposal to the home department, it would place the same before the relevant committee for consideration.

Pillion riding

The SHC directed the Sindh advocate general to file comments on a petition against the recalling of exemption for the journalists from the ban on pillion riding.

The petitioner, Umair Anjum, submitted that in view of a court order on May 14, partial modification had been issued in the government’s notification with regard to the ban on pillion riding and now the family members residing in the same household, including women, kids and elderly persons, were allowed to travel pillion but the restrictions on pillion riding for the media persons and law enforcement agencies were still in force.

He said such a ban should also be lifted after issuing some SOPs. The high court directed the provincial law officer to file comments by June 8.