Cairo

new

MPs call for the

government days before the urgency of

seeking to curb the

movement of

Altoctouk in Egypt, a small vehicle with three wheels, after the

succession of a crime because of it

.

Parliamentarian Abdel Wahab Khalil submitted a request for a briefing to the government to find a "plan to confront the chaos of the tuktuk and organize its traffic."

A few days ago, the city of Atfih, south of Cairo, witnessed the death of a child working as a tuktuk driver, who was killed by a young man for the purpose of stealing his vehicle.

Tuk-tuks are a frequent target of vehicle thieves, as most of them run without license plates, and (unlicensed) tuk-tuks are a common tool and a common factor in many street crimes, according to police reports.

In turn, the Parliament’s Transport Committee called for the urgent implementation of the state’s plan to replace the tuk-tuk with small “vans” that accommodate 7 people.

Months ago, the government announced an initiative to replace this car with the tuk-tuk, to control mass transit lanes in popular areas, where tuk-tuk activity thrives in narrow and winding streets that often do not witness the presence of traffic police.

The average price of a "van" car is 120,000 pounds (the dollar is equivalent to 15.6 pounds). The owner of the registered tuk-tuk, who will convert the "van", pays approximately two-thirds of the amount in installments, which is the price difference between the tuktuk he owns and the "van" he will receive as a substitute.

This alternative car provides additional job opportunities for young people, which mitigates the impact of the unemployment problem, as two people (driver and sold) work on it instead of one individual on the tuktuk.


costs and benefits

About 2.5 million tuk-tuks roam the streets of Egypt, according to Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad, in a telephone interview to a satellite channel.

Since the tuktuk entered the country about 16 years ago, the government's initiatives to confront the chaos continue with each wave of attacks on its existence after each incident, and with the tuktuk attempts to occupy new spaces that were forbidden to it, such as the "high-end" neighborhoods in cities, especially high-end cities.

The initiative to replace the tuk-tuk was preceded by a plan to besiege its presence in the country by banning its entire import in 2014. The initiatives are facing resistance from importers and owners of tuk-tuks to any measure that may threaten their dependence on it.

For drivers to enter the initiative to replace the tuk-tuk with the “van” bus, the tuk-tuk itself requires registration, which makes it subject to traffic and tracking fines, in addition to paying registration fees, and many of its drivers have not yet reached the legal age to register because they are children.

Omar tells Al Jazeera Net, as he swerves with a tuktuk, avoiding a car facing him, as he walks in reverse, "I am now in safety, registration is a brain ache, and the government is every day in my opinion, and the car's gain is not guaranteed like the tuktuk."

The citizen, who is in his fifties, believes that registering his tuk-tuk means forcing him to switch to work on the new minibus, and bear the installments that he may be unable to pay as a result of the family's requirements.

Legalization efforts

As part of attempts to legalize the existence of tuk-tuks, the government resorted in 2008 to imposing a fine of 5,000 pounds on owners of unlicensed vehicles, yet only 10% of tuk-tuk owners applied for licenses.

The government retracted the decision to permanently ban the import of tuk-tuks, by adding clauses to the decision that excluded metal structures and engines.

Press reports said at the time that the retreat was triggered by security warnings to the government about the danger of a complete ban on importing it to society, claiming that the tuk-tuk solves the unemployment crisis.

On the other hand, observers attributed the decline at that time to the influence of tuktuk importers.

The tuk-tuk is imported by 3 companies, the largest of which is the "GB Ghabbour Auto" group, the main agent of the Indian "Bajaj" company, and their returns, as importers, will be affected by the retirement of the tuk-tuk.


tuktuk trade

The lowest price of a tuktuk is about 30 thousand pounds, which means that 2.5 million tuk-tuks that entered the country are estimated at a price of about 75 billion pounds. The profits of its trade and sale were distributed among major importers, wholesalers and retailers, as well as the profits of the spare parts trade that are spread in thousands of its stores in the country. .

The least share of the 70 billion pounds are the drivers, as one of them returns at the end of the day to his family after a hard half day, devoured by his working hours at an average of 150 pounds.

Spare parts dealers were among the rings that earned from the tuk-tuk march.

"I liquidated it after the decision to stop importing, it is no longer a profitable business as it was," says Islam Abdullah, who owned a tuktuk spare parts store in Assiut, in the south.

And the citizen opened a grocery instead of the store, adding to Al-Jazeera Net, "Foodstuffs are a more stable activity, at least, the government will not stop the import of basic commodities, and will not launch an initiative to replace something as it does with the tuktuk."

Millions depend their main income on the tuktuk and they are the least benefited in its economic system (Al-Jazeera)

Parallel to the initiative, the government threatens unlicensed tuk-tuk owners with persecution, which is "not frightening" in Omar's words, who continued to drive a tuk-tuk without a license and without heeding a government promise "as long as it was repeated in vain".

In one of the campaigns in the summer of 2019 on an unauthorized tuk-tuk parking lot at the head of Faisal Street in Giza, the police wrested 3 tuk-tuk vehicles from their owners, and the rest managed to escape, then they started throwing stones at security personnel, forcing a policeman to shoot in the air, so the drivers dispersed and then returned to their position again. after the departure of the troops.

Hassanein, a shop owner in the same position, expressed his annoyance at the presence of these drivers in the place, causing chaos, which negatively affects his trade, and tells Al Jazeera Net, "They are all unlicensed, they will not license and will not stop, their livelihood has become linked to this place and that work."

This reveals what could happen if the state tried by force to implement what it announced, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Local Development, Khaled Qassem, that "only licensed tuk-tuks will be allowed to continue operating in villages and hamlets only, and there will be no tuk-tuk on the main streets. They will be replaced by vans." ".

There is an initiative to replace the government


that it

launched

and, God willing, it will be implemented because this tuk-tuk is one of the biggest problems of the economy because it has completely eliminated the trade. No one can learn its craft unfortunately.

— Muhammad Al-Hadi 13 (@Mohamed72657571) June 8, 2021

character defeat

The negative economic effects of the tuk-tuk are diffuse to affect the trades, as the tuk-tuk driver Muhammad Ali was originally a craftsman in the profession of car paint, so he became fed up with another to buy a tuk-tuk and work on it in turns.

He tells Al Jazeera Net, "For years, my profession has not been the same as it was before, and I do not know any other profession, so I worked on the tuktuk, which does not require any skill."

And in the tens of thousands of cases, like Ali's, their ancient profession can be learned from just talking to them during the short walking trip.

These people are not waiting to be transformed into professional drivers on mass transit vehicles, but they are eagerly waiting for the opportunity to return to their craft after its recovery again, as Ali said, "This work is temporary, so I do not want to engage in it more by obtaining a license to work as a driver on a tuktuk or van."

In turn, the head of the Association of Motorcycle and Tuk Tuk Drivers, Naglaa Sami, said that the new law specified an appropriate amount (250 pounds only) for licensing the tuktuk, and the lack of demand for the license resulted from fear of a repeat of what happened in the past, continuing problems with the official authorities despite the license.

She stressed in press statements that the majority of drivers are not problem makers, but rather owners of homes and children, who want to earn with halal money.

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