–ET&NC official says it’s not their mandate to keep a check on illegal plates
–CTO Capt (r) Hammad says police are penalising people over violations
LAHORE: A massive increase in tampered and laminated registration plates has been observed in the provincial capital, thus exposing the negligence of City Traffic Police, Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) and Excise Taxation and Narcotics Control (ET&NC) department.
A number of cars run on the roads with tampered plates to evade surveillance through PSCA cameras whereas others use laminated plates for the same purpose. Moreover, non-computerised number plates are also common on the roads of Lahore.
A shopkeeper at Montgomery Road told Pakistan Today that there are lamination sheets available in the market and once applied, the PSCA cameras cannot read the number plates, thus providing the drivers protection from e-challan. The shopkeeper said that these lamination sheets are not commonly available and are only sold secretly. He further said that a person can get a single number plate laminated for Rs150-200 in parts of Chauburji, Township and Johar Town.
According to a PSCA official, the tactics used by the people to hide their number plates are creating a hurdle in penalising traffic violators. The official said that the authority can only catch such people when they are on a surveillance operation, otherwise, it is the responsibility of the traffic police and the ET&NC department to prevent this from happening.
ET&NC Director Motor Vehicle Rana Qamarul Hussain Sajjad said that the department is not entertaining complaints related to computerised plates as their role is to only issue such plates besides helping in enforcement of its display. “Chapter 8 of the Motor Vehicle Ordinance mandates the Punjab Police and traffic police to keep a check on improper and tempered number plates,” he added.
Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Captain (r) Syed Hammad Abid said that the traffic police are penalising people whose number plates are found to be fake or tempered or laminated. “We have penalized 64,283 persons for driving without registered number plates and 76,655 persons for having improper number plates,” he added.