Update (February 6): The Punjab Safe Cities Authority has recently conducted a survey to double down on the effectiveness of the e-challan system and user satisfaction in Lahore. Scroll down to find out more about the survey results.
Lahore is the most happening city of Punjab with a deep association with history and several unique legends. While remaining closely connected to its past, the city of gardens is also moving towards urbanisation at a noticeable pace and the modern infrastructure added to the city’s skyline has transformed the city into a megapolis. Sadly, the other side of the transformation features noise and air pollution, and traffic congestions that have wreaked havoc on the lives of the people living in the city.
Owing to Lahore’s growing population and traffic problems, the Punjab Government has decided to step up the traffic system in Lahore by introducing some major improvements in the current road infrastructure in the city. The formation of traffic signals with automated timers and the installation of smart cameras to monitor traffic are the two crucial steps taken by the authorities in this regard. Also, a particularly impactful move in the same drive is the launch of Electronic Challans or E-Challan in Lahore, which was implemented in association and collaboration with Punjab Safe Cities Authorities (PSCA).
In this regard, the PSCA Chief Operating Officer, Akbar Nasir Khan stated, “The decision has been taken keeping in view the traffic management and the road accidents occurring owing to over-speeding”.
How does E-Challan Work in Lahore?
The Punjab Safe Cities Authority has taken the charge to promote road safety in Lahore and other cities of the province. The organisation aims to build a group of well-informed citizens who have full knowledge of traffic laws, and hence, they will become a mouthpiece for the rest of the nation.
Let’s dig into more details of how E-Challans will positively impact Lahore.
In order to control the increasing number of traffic violations, the PSCA has installed automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) cameras at different spots in the city, mainly near high traffic areas – which will be further followed by the installation of 10,000 additional cameras on 2,000 spots spread across city. These smart cameras will assist in creating a comprehensive traffic system in Lahore, through extremely vigilant surveillance.
Additionally, with the help of these smart cameras, the E-challan system will automatically fine traffic violators in Lahore, making the job of the PSCA easier.
To help you get better acquainted with the system, here’s the detail of how E-challans works:
- If a vehicle is captured by ANPR camera violating the traffic rules, the camera saves four snapshots and by default saves it into the “violation folder”. Cameras are smart enough to sort registered and unregistered vehicles via the number plates on cars.
- The snapshots are then verified by ETC to make sure that the system has caught a valid violation which includes categorising violation type and verifying a number plate.
- The details of violators are cross-checked with Excise and Taxation Departments.
- After the information is verified, the complaint is then forwarded to the supervisors who further verify it – the tickets are then dispatched to the addresses of the violators through courier.
When is an E-Challan Issued?
You will receive an E-challan if you violate the following traffic rules:
- Going through a red light
- Speeding up and changing the lane suddenly
- Driving/riding over the speed limit
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way road
How to Pay E-Challan in Lahore?
After the citizens have received challans at their doorsteps, they’re obliged to pay it. If somehow, they end up losing the courier copy, they can check the status of the challan by simply visiting the official website of PSCA and navigating to the E-Challan page. The webpage will ask for their CNIC number and vehicle registration number, which will show the details of the challan, if any, issued against the vehicle. The violator can pay the challan by taking the printed copy and visiting any branch of the Bank of Punjab or National Bank of Pakistan. The fine is payable within the 10 days after the challan is issued, otherwise, a vehicle will be blacklisted and eventually seized.
Current Status of E-Challan in Lahore
According to the picture above, the PSCA has issued over 2,000 challans to date to over 550 (27.5%) motorcycles, 700 (35%) cars, and 750 (37.5%) public buses. Further details and updates of E-Challans are mentioned on the official page of Punjab Safe City Authorities.
To sustain this traffic management system, the PSCA will launch a mobile application for E-Challan to maximise the convenience of commuters and vehicle owners. The app will enable users to pay the charges online without any hassle and will be made available on Google’s Play Store. Until then, the challans can also be paid using the mobile banking services of the Bank of Punjab.
Latest Updates on E-Challan
The Punjab Safe Cities Authorities have recently completed a survey named “Public Perception Survey” in Lahore to find out whether the project is helping the general public and to find out the area of improvements. The survey was conducted in collaboration with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) that lasted for around 2 weeks and engaged more than 2000 people from different parts of the city. As per survey findings, people were extremely satisfied with the current system and the efficiency of PSCA. Around 85 percent of the survey participants even said that they have noticed a dramatic decline in crime rates. No wonder why Lahore was declared one of the safest cities as per the stats released by the World Crime Index, beating cities like Paris, Berlin, Rome, and New York City.
With all these extra measures taken for traffic management, Lahore boasts an extremely smart system for road safety that is supervised centrally, which is an inspiration for other major cities of Pakistan to bring innovation and modernisation in their traffic systems.