BY ALI NAQVI –
Toyota Hiace, registration number LES-19-8817 driven by Ali Shair on 10th December, is one of the many Swvl vehicles stopped by traffic wardens en route. Imagine the perplexity of all those passengers who had to be at their destinations on time.
The van was immobilized near Arfa Software Technology Park by diligent traffic wardens on a hunt. One cannot blame the police for doing their duty. The system is all messed up at every end. Swvl that promises the commuters of Pakistan comfortable and hassle free rides has numerous loose ends to tie.
Driver Mr Ali Shair, when asked for the registration document, he did not have it, he was unable to produce his driving license and most of all he did not even had his original CNIC. How could a driver not even having his ID card could drive a Swvl vehicle? This is not the first vehicle or the first time that this has happened. This must be embarrassing for the company to put their customers in a spot of bother.
The problem arises from the fact that Swvl has not issued route permits to their drivers. Every time the wardens checks a bus and asks for the route permit the driver has no option but to get the challan. From the driver’s point of view, he cannot drive the bus and go on submitting challans at the same time. What happens is that after a few challans the bus is grounded and the commuters had to pay the price.
A correct and workable system is the need of the hour. We have not enough legislation at the provincial and federal level that could address the serious issues pertaining to the common man. Most of the times new ideas and creative ventures in the public sector are marred by the lack of pertinent laws and regulations.
Public transport is a major issue in Pakistan. But apparently it is the least important on the government’s list of priorities. When Uber and Careem were launched in Pakistan they also had to face a number of legal issues. Swvl is also facing such issues which are hampering their operations and services.
Swvl has to address these issues with the relevant stakeholders. The sooner these issues are sorted out the better for the company and the commuters.