LAHORE: Tech savvy commuters in Lahore can now use a smartphone application to check their routes for major traffic bottlenecks ahead of their trips across the city.The application, Raasta, developed by the Police Department in collaboration with the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) will contain updated information about roadblock protests, sit-ins, blockages due to construction work and other emergency situations on city roads. It will also provide information about traffic congestion on roads.The application would also allow users to register complaints with authorities concerned about broken road segments in the city.The application was launched at a ceremony held at the City Police Office (CPO) on Thursday.Speaking at the occasion, Inspector General of Police Punjab Arif Nawaz Khan said that even before the inauguration of the application it had been downloaded by 16,000 users. He said the citizens’ response on the app was satisfactory. In view of the feedback received from citizens, more features were being added to the app, he said.The IGP said that the smartphone application would prove a game changer for traffic management in the city. The citizens would also be able to avail different traffic services like route plan updates, and online payment of fines for traffic violations.IGP Nawaz said that the launch of the application was a proof of the Police Department’s commitment to serving the citizens. “It will facilitate the citizens and help them save their precious time by planning their trips in a more efficient manner,” he said. He said the Police Department had not just improved its public image but also enhanced its capabilities through induction of modern technology.The IGP thanked the PITB for its efforts in the development of the smartphone application. “I hope that the PITB and the Police Department will continue to cooperate in future to find innovative solutions to citizens’ problems,” he said.CTO Rai Ejaz Ahmad briefed the gathering about the various features of the Rasta application. He said the app could be downloaded by any citizen on smart phones. He said the department was also working on setting up more driving schools in the city.PITB chairman Umar Saif praised the Police Department for taking keen interest in introducing latest technology to upgrade its systems. “The Police Department has set a precedent for other departments by equipping its systems with modern technology. IT projects undertaken by the Punjab Police are models that can be replicated by other departments,” he said.Saif said that due to joint efforts of the Punjab Police and the PITB many welfare projects had been completed during two-and-half-year time period. Several projects were still underway, he said.The ceremony was attended by Additional IGP Patrolling Amjad Javed Saleemi; Addl IGP D&I Ejaz Hussain Shah; Addl IGP (Welfare and Finance) Muhammad Tahir; Addl IGP (Establishment) Azhar Hameed Khokhar; Addl IGP (Training) Tariq Masood Yassen; Addl IGP (Operations) Mohsin Hasan Butt; Traffic DIG Farooq Mazhar; and IT DIG Sharaq Kamal saddiqui.Published in Daily Times, December 8th 2017.