With the rapid urbanisation, Pakistan’s cities need to deploy new and latest technologies for city governments to better manage the urban centres and serve the residents with efficiency and better service delivery.
The use of technology in managing cities affairs have given birth to the concept of ‘smart city’, which is relatively new in the urban development and is being adopted by different cities in the world in the pursuit to serve their citizens in the best possible manner.
The smart cities embrace information communication technologies (ICT) and the IT solutions to manage the use of resources in the best possible way and acquire automated feedback through specialized ICT based infrastructure.
Smart cities are becoming a new trend across the world. However, the model and outlook of every city differ from each other as each one has its own challenges and problems. Therefore, no universal technology solution can be designed for the operational challenges of a city.
A smart city is any municipality that incorporates information and communication technologies with its day-to-day operations to increase efficiency, improve the quality of governance and services delivery to the citizens, and share information with the public.
In order to accomplish all this, the administration of the city asks the technology companies to develop a solution for the city to establish the required infrastructure in the city.
It provides the companies with all the requirements of numerous departments like civil defense, police, water and sanitation, municipality, traffic engineering, and so on.
Punjab’s Safe Cities Project Makes Lahore an Epitome
The Punjab government took a lead from other countries and initiated the Punjab Safe Cities Project from Lahore. When it launched, people presumed it as something specified to policing, surveillance, and traffic control.
However, these operations kept expanding and the infrastructure of Lahore became more and more integrated. The city witnessed its results for the first time in February 2017 when a suicide attack occurred on Mall Road leaving 16 individuals deceased.
Tracking the Terrorists
Using the safe city cameras, mobile network fencing, and other technology, the police tracked and found the orchestrators of the attack.
The technology helped police arrest the handlers of the attack along with a sleeper network within three days after the incident.
Notably, a mobile company provided the technology services to the Punjab government. These services entailed a one-stop integrated Safe City solution including the broadband trunking, municipal emergency command center, video surveillance, automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR), and facial recognition while incorporating visualized command with the whole process.
E-Challans – Ensuring the Rules Are Obeyed
Only a month ago, the provincial government introduced e-challans for signal violations by the motorists. Till now, authorities have issued 87,000 e-challans, dispatching them to the violator’s postal address. Around 35,000 have already submitted their fine that contributed over Rs. 11 million to the provincial treasury.
Apart from the money raised in the form of fines, the traffic situation has improved greatly. The number of people abiding by the traffic rules has also increased. According to the authorities, e-challan will include three more traffic violations in the future. These additional violations include stop-line, one-way, and U-turn.
Moreover, the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) managed to inform the Excise Taxation Department about over 9,000 vehicle record corrections, all thanks to the new system.
Checking Over Everything Going On In City
With the Safe City infrastructure, authorities can monitor everything from the eruption of fire, open manhole, public protests, traffic congestion, rising smoke, hanging electric wires, accidents, and so on. It enables them to take the necessary action immediately.
According to a PSCA official, some departments are not taking immediate actions for now. But in future, they will have to sync with PSCA for the prescribed action.
With the deployment of the smart city structure, Lahore has become Pakistan’s first-ever city with the required infrastructure for a smart city. However, there is still a lot more to do in this realm before the transformation to a smart city is complete.
Via: The News