Saturday January 22, 2022

ITP may have better ways to increase revenue!

June 29, 2021

Islamabad: It was a few days back that there was a very interesting sight on the Islamabad Highway/Faisal Avenue. A 10-wheeler truck, very clearly over-loaded way beyond its prescribed capacity had just rolled over to its side, blocking half of the two-lane highway, causing most inconvenient traffic blockade for the early morning traffic.

One must not be shy of appreciating the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) when it comes to their response to any emergency situations. As such, a team of ITP, led by a senior officer, most probably, a DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) along with another four or five officers and jawans, was there, making their best possible efforts to keep the traffic flowing. Highly appreciable effort one must say.

Now, it may be a wild insinuation on our part but it seems that the ITP team trying to maintain traffic flow while the truck owners were still smarting of what had happened to them, or in fact what they had done because of their greed and negligence, the ITP team also decided to launch the anti-tinted glass operation on vehicles there and then. Again, a positive initiative to generate more revenues for the department!

But one wonders as to how much revenue the department will generate by imposing fines on the negligible number of vehicles having tinted glasses, especially in this sweltering hot weather?

But we believe that this anti-tinted glass campaign must have been a pretty tricky one to follow because most of the imported vehicles if not all as well as those expensive SUVs produced in the country have company fitted tinted glasses. What to do about those?

However, we humbly suggest that the ITP can bring about a great change in traffic operations, which if implemented scientifically, may also generate revenues for the department beyond their imagination. And that is to start imposing fines for lane violations.

We concede to the argument put forth by the ITP officer that it was almost next to impossible to catch a biker or a motorists committing lane violation on the highways or main avenues. Well, here comes the technology and the ‘Lahore Traffic Police’ example to learn from.

From what we have been told many a times by those coming from Lahore, in many areas of the Provincial Metropolis, the Traffic Police has abandoned the traditional traffic challan system and has adopted É-chalan’ strategy.

The cameras installed for the purpose at strategic locations pick up the violators and the computer generates a challan e-message, which is delivered to the violator on the mobile phone number registered against the ‘License Plate’ of the vehicle. No human interaction involved, so no hassle, pleading non-guilty, asking forgiveness, making excuses and wasting time of the officer of law.

Paying challan amount has also been made easy. Many people have different money transfer apps downloaded on their cell phones. Just pay the fine amount through any of those or go to the nearest money transfer shops and pay your fine.

In the beginning people thought that to be a hoax by Lahore Traffic Police. But, when they accessed the Excise and Taxation Department for transfer of vehicle, they found a substantial amount, that has accumulated over the months or may be years against the meagre fine for the traffic rules violation they had committed sometime in the past!

Have not visited Lahore for quite some time now but what we have been learning from people frequently travelling to the provincial capital, it seems that the flow of traffic on the busiest of roads and avenues in Lahore has become smooth!