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The Lahore Division Cattle Market Management Company (LDCMMC), a Punjab government subsidiary, has started engaging local information technology experts to carry out various official jobs.

In an initiative, it has introduced the automated parking management system (PMS) at the cattle markets of Shahpur Kanjran, Lahore, and Sheikhupura.

To introduce this system, the company called bids from the local firms/vendors for the preparation of a software. After a competition, the company managed to get prepared the required software in just Rs600,000.

“It has become general perception in Pakistan that local solutions/technologies are not trustworthy. But we ignored this and got the automated PMS’s software prepared by local experts. After use of this indigenous system, no official could do corruption in collection of parking fee,” claimed LDCMMC Managing Director Dr Ehtesham.

He said the company was also finding out the local solutions for the software of automated weight and measures monitoring system these days.

The indigenous PMS comprises of a set of portable machines and in-house software that are tailored to meet the needs of the cattle markets’ operations staff. The machines issue receipts every time a transaction is made. With each transaction, records are also updated in the control centre at the company’s head office where each transaction is evaluated to eliminate any double counting or fraud.

The vehicle owners also use these receipts to prove their ownership to the law enforcement agencies in case of any inquiries.

The locally prepared software has enabled the officials to see all transactions (issuance of fee slip through devices) while sitting in their offices.

The information that is displayed in the control room mentions number and kind of animal-carrying vehicles entering the cattle markets in specified days (Tuesday for Shahpur Kanjran/Lahore market and Friday/Saturday for Sheikhupura), issuance of computerised parking slip, collected parking fee, etc. The PMS has helped the officials in generating good revenue (Rs1 to 1.2 million during two market days a week in Lahore and Sheikhupura).

The Lahore Waste Management Company last week held a special meeting to review the ongoing cleanliness drive in all zones of the provincial metropolis. The participants discussed various issues related to public participation and ownership in cleanliness-related activities being carried out by the LWMC and its two Turkish waste management firms.

An official told Dawn that according to recommendations of the meeting, it has been decided the field officials of the LWMC and Turkish waste management firms would involve the councilors, vice chairman, chairman of the union councils, MPAs and MNAs and civil society organisations in all awareness drives to ensure participation and ownership of the public at large in waste management activities. – (khalidpak284@yahoo.com)

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2016