KARACHI - Sindh Transport Minister Akhter Jadoon on Thursday banned the conversion of public transport vehicles from petrol or diesel to CNG.

Akhter Jadoon while talking to TheNation said that the decision had been taken in view of frequent incidents of gas cylinder blasts in public transport vehicles.

He said, “We had held several meetings with authorities concerned before the decision and directed transporters to recheck the CNG kits installed in the public transports but transporters declined to follow the instruction.

Meanwhile, a meeting between the minister and a delegation of a foreign transport company was held in the office of the provincial minister. It was decided in the meeting that the new bus service will be launched in the metropolis within a month.

The decision has been taken to fulfil the demands of the City and is aimed at providing economical transport to the citizens. Another main objective behind the launching of new bus service is to eliminate the monopoly of private transporters.

During the meeting the minister said that recently conversion of public transport vehicles to CNG from diesel is completely illegal because the transport department have no data of conversion.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has also recommended ban on the conversion of buses to CNG.

They also said that the main reason for the increasing number of accidents was the use of substandard fittings of CNG kits.

Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) Chairman Irshad Bukhari, said, “In Karachi we have 8,000 minibuses, 7,000 coaches and 3,000 buses, among minibuses, 60 percent have already converted to the CNG. Similarly, 40pc of coaches and the same number of buses are running on CNG. Transporters have invested millions of rupees in that process and its not possible to ban them from using the CNG.”

He said the transporters within the last one year had converted their vehicles to CNG because of rising prices of diesel that even caused losses to many operators. “We are very much willing to attend the meeting, but only to assist and ensure our cooperation for any new policy that helps in maintaining fitness of vehicles. Quitting the use of the CNG in public transport is not an option.”

467 journalists to get plots’ allotment letters: As many as 467 journalists will be issued challans for plots in the City’s Hawksbay Scheme 42.

Lyari Development Authority (LDA) Director General Agha Maqsood Abbas said this while presiding over a meeting here at LDA office. He said that 817 members of the Karachi Press Club had already been issued challans for plots at Hawksbay scheme.

The LDA Director General stated that the Sindh government had released a sum of Rs100 million for the completion of the development works in the journalists colony at Hawkesbay scheme.