UPDATE: Ride hailing services given one week to acquire route permit or face ban: Sindh Government

KARACHI:  The Sindh government has given a week to ride hailing companies to obtain route permits from the government or face suspension of their services. 

According to Dawn News,  while chairing a meeting on Karachi’s traffic situation, Sindh Transport Minister Syed Awais Shah directed his staff to write to Uber and Careem to obtain the route permits within seven days or risk facing termination of their services.

During the meeting, Mr. Shah also inquired about the latest incident of alleged harassment of a girl during the Uber ride and asked “How did that happen?” while terming it the result of poor regulation of ride hailing services.

Meanwhile, talking to DRM, the Careem Spokesperson Nida Jaffery said: “As a local company, we remain engaged with the respective governments of all provinces for the finalization of frameworks which will not only govern ride-hailing specifically but online marketplaces in general.”

Uber did not respond to the queries sent by DRM. However, in a statement shared with The News, the unnamed Uber Spokesperson said: “The Sindh government has been supportive of disruptive technologies in recent years and we appreciate the role they have played in providing masses a more convenient and affordable mode of transport along with creating numerous economic opportunities. We are looking forward to working with the Sindh government to address their concerns.”

Earlier, ARY news reported that Sindh government had once again decided to ban ride hailing services across the province.

Quoting the Sindh Transport Minister Awais Shah, the ARY News reported that this decision was being taken as the ride hailing companies violated the Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, signed between the government and the ride hailing services about route permits three years ago

Ride hailing services came under pressure last year when the Sindh government decided to ban these services for failure to comply with the provincial transport rules and regulations.

Later during the court hearings, the Sindh High Court was informed that the company and transport department had reached an agreement under which vehicles on ride hailing apps will registered under the Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1965.

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