LAHORE: Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Dr Assad Malhi on Tuesday formally launched digital challan system to replace the decades-old manual arrangement of imposing fine on traffic violators in the city here on Tuesday. It was launched as a pilot project on The Mall and will be extended gradually to the rest of the city after assessing its results.
Dr Assad Malhi told Dawn that initially the digital challaning has been launched on major sections of The Mall 1, The Mall 2 and The Mall 3, the busiest artery of the provincial capital. He said digital challan would eliminate complaints of fake and bogus challans and ensure transparency.
In this respect, he said, a specially designed App has been downloaded in mobile phones of the traffic wardens and the citizens will receive a challan message. “By entering the vehicle number or ID card in the App, all the information will be auto-filled”, Dr Assad said.
He said the digital mobile phone App has been associated/linked with various respective government departments. They included excise and taxation department, crime record office of the police, anti-vehicle lifting squad, route permit department and the fitness certificate database management.
“Most importantly, the new digital system of the traffic police would help the Punjab police to access the [criminal] record of the drivers and the vehicles”, he said. The CTO Lahore said on making entering of national identity card of the traffic violator, the wardens would get access to their criminal background.
“In case a warden finds the criminal background of the traffic violator, he will immediately call the police to get him/her arrested from the spot”, Dr Assad said. The successful implementation of the digital system would help eliminate the crime, he said adding that the newly-launched system would also be helpful in budget reduction in the future.
Like, he said, the Punjab government was bearing hefty expenses on the printing of the challan books every year. “Now there will be no need to allocate the budget for the challan books,” he said.
On an average every year, the Punjab government was allocating Rs12 million budget under the head of printing of the challan books for Lahore alone. Similarly, for five major cities including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, and Gujranwala, the government was bearing average annual expenses to the tune of Rs32m, the CTO said.
To a question, he said the digital challan system had already been enforced in many districts of the province. As the volume of the traffic challaning in Lahore was many times higher than the other districts of the province, the government had decided to implement it in the provincial capital at later stage to avoid complications or mistakes. Nearly 1,800 traffic wardens were authorised in Lahore to impose fines for violations, he said.