KARACHI - The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday summoned the Sindh transport secretary along with the policy on allotment of permits to the public transport, by February 14.

A division bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar expressed its displeasure over the negligence of the transport department for avoiding its own law. The bench was hearing a plea to stop school vans and public transport to install CNG cylinders.

Transport department submitted its reply by stating that a ban has already been imposed on installation of CNG cylinders on schools vans and public transport, and legal actions have been taken against the transporters those were involved in violation of the law.

The court directed the provincial authorities to make sure through Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) that the public transports should not be provided CNG from any fuel station. In his remarks, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazahr said that nobody was careful about the safety of the school going children.

SSP traffic district West submitted a report regarding actions taken against the vehicles found involved in violation of law. The report stated that illegal cylinders have been removed from 1863 vehicles.

The court expressed its dissatisfaction on the report and submitted that more than 18000 vehicles have been used in public transport but actions were taken against only some vehicles.   

The bench directed to initiate new legislation to improve public transport.

The petition filed by Tariq Mansoor seeking action to restrain the school vans and public transport to use CNG cylinders, he submitted that no step has been taken by the government despite the notification that restrain the public transporters to use CNG cylinders. He also stated that Sindh government on 7th May 2014, had issued notification regarding the protection measures in school vans.

However, schools vans are not allowed to use CNG cylinders anymore. On January 25, a driver and a child received minor injuries after a school van caught fire in Zaman Town in Karachi’s Korangi.