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October 1, 2020

SHC directs transport secy to decide transporters’ pleas for operation of bus terminals in city

Karachi

October 1, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the provincial transport secretary to decide the applications of intercity public transporters within two weeks for operating bus terminals at different places in the city.

The direction came on the petitions of intercity bus operators seeking permission to start intercity bus operations in Karachi. The petitioners requested the high court to allow them to operate intercity buses while adopting standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sindh additional advocate general with the assistance of Transport Secretary Sattar Ahmed submitted that the lockdown notification had already been withdrawn; however, for all the intercity bus operation, the bus owners were required to implement the SOPs without any fail or excuse.

The SHC observed that the petitioners’ prayer clause had virtually become infructuous as the lockdown notifications had been withdrawn.

A counsel for the petitioners pointed out that various bus terminals had been closed in the city as well as out of the city and the bus owners having valid route permits had also filed their applications to the provincial transport authority for operating bus terminals at different places in the city.

The transport secretary submitted that some applications had been pending at his office for orders. A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar observed that the transporters’ association had not mentioned in the petition the names of its members who had applied for bus terminals permit/licence; however, the transport secretary had admitted that some applications had been pending before his office.

The secretary undertook that all these applications would be decided within a period of two weeks and orders in writing shall be communicated to the applicants. The high court directed the transport secretary to hear and decide all the applications in accordance with the law after providing ample opportunity of hearing to the applicants and other stakeholders if any and decide the same within two weeks.