Right in front of the once roaring sea at Clifton beach, now pushed back to make way for dying palm trees which do not seem suited to the environment is a sort of graveyard for motorcycles. Old rusted motorcycles are piled one on the other in a haphazard way.
Motorcycles that I am sure were once gleaming and shining and the pride of their owners and their families.
A means not only for transportation of the entire family on weekends but also helping the bread earners of the family reach their place of employment or pursue their vocation. Now they are just scars on this fashionable area of the city and abandoned just as the city has been abandoned over the years. Every time I pass this mini-graveyard of motorcycles by I cannot but help think of the utter waste of our resources.
An average motorcycle nowadays costs anywhere from a hundred and fifty thousand to two hundred thousand. A used motorcycle would cost around a hundred thousand depending on the condition of the vehicle. The pile rotting for all to see at one of the most fashionable and popular beaches of the city should by these estimates amount to a few million. In times of a deepening financial crisis, rampant inflation and lack of resources we seem to have a devil may care attitude about resources that are so important for the common man.
So how do these motorcycles end up in this inglorious fashion? There can be many reasons. A motorcycle can be stopped at the numerous check points in the city. Sometimes the police insist on complete compliance with the law, including the registration number in the right format and color.
Stand on any street corner and you will observe that given the inclination of the police at that given time any motorcycle can be impounded. Usually, the checking concludes with a hand-shake but if the motorcycle owner tries to argue he can end up walking home and his motorcycle ending up impounded.
Among those lying under the open sky are also motorcycles that were snatched and then recovered. Now as long as the case is going on these vehicles will lie impounded out in the open rotting and decaying while the real owner runs from pillar to post to get back his valuable asset. Speedy justice is not exactly how the courts work in this country so the case goes on and the motorcycle keeps rotting out in the open.
It is not just the elements that impact the vehicle but also those entrusted with the task of guarding them who poach impounded vehicles resulting in loss of batteries, spare tires etc. This is one of the main reasons why anyone whose vehicle has been impounded and parked at a police station is desperate to get it out before it is poached.
It is not just motorcycles but vehicles of all sorts that are lying rotten outside police stations. Outside the Clifton police station next to Amir Khusro Park there are vehicles of all sorts from cars to water tankers and six wheelers.
Many have just rotten away and others poached. Yes here too a small graveyard of motorcycles shows decayed vehicles that were probably once the pride of their owners but are now just pieces of junk.
It is not just Karachi but all over the country that such waste continues with impunity. In Rawalpindi, for example, according to press reports, 5,000 motorcycles and numerous other vehicles are rotting outside 30 police stations.
This is the story all over the country and one can just imagine the horrendous waste of resources and the pain and suffering of vehicle owners who run from pillar to post but cannot get relief from any quarter.
Most of these vehicles are rotting because the cases in which they are involved cannot be resolved. Here is something that the judiciary can look into and resolve.
This is a countrywide problem so it is befitting that the Supreme Court look into it and instruct the concerned courts to set up speedy courts to resolve cases involving impounded vehicles and thus save their owners from pain and anguish and preserve assets that are being destroyed in the present system.
On their part the police can be more careful in preserving impounded vehicles and others on their premises and not let them lie abandoned and rusting in the four corners of the country.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023