Public transporters unwilling to obey colour codeDecember 3, 2013
Karachi: Karachi transporters have refused to obey official colour code for their minibuses, saying they would only paint their public transport vehicles as per official colour code if the government bears painting cost, said inner sources.
They said the transport department authorities have been urging the private public transporters to paint their buses and minibuses as per official colour code so as to give the city public transport a civilized and discipline look. They said in urban cities all over the world no public transport bus is allowed to ply on streets if it fails to comply with the official bus colour code. They said the public transporters must have to paint their wide-bodied buses in red colour and small minibuses and coaches with yellow colour. They said the official colour code would give public transport buses better visibility and also help commuters, besides showing rule of law visible on streets.
However, the public transporters are not happy with the idea of following the official colour code, said the sources, adding they are not ready to bear the cost of repainting their vehicles. They want that the government should bear the charges of painting their buses and vehicles as per official colour code.
Two decades back public transport buses and minibuses used to follow the official bus colour coding, as bureaucracy at that time was not lenient in this regard; however, latter the public transporters of Karachi got whole monopoly over road-based public transport sector after the closure of Karachi Transport Corporation (KTC) and they began to dictate their own terms and conditions including not obeying the official bus colour coding.
The sources said the transport department is not ready to press hard the public transporters as they often threaten to go on strike. They said however, efforts are under way to persuade the public transporters to obey the official bus colour coding in gradual phases.
A public transport running requesting anonymity said in principle it is all right that the public transport vehicles of Karachi should be painted as per official bus colour code, but the transporters are not financially strong to bear the repainting cost of their vehicles. He said the government should give them some subsidy in this regard. He said public transporters are running their businesses on low margin and their vehicles are often burnt and damaged in riots with no payment of compensation. He said giving commuting facilities to the public is also responsibility of the government and it should not solely rely on private transporters to cater the needs of 20million Karachiites.
However, the sources said that the transport department is determined to change the public transport culture of Karachi, but steps in this connections are being taken gradually so as not to disturb the routine life of the city by irking powerful transporter lobby.