Traffic management in Kathmandu Valley becoming tougher
A file photo of typical jam in Kathmandu's road (Source: Jason Pemberton)
Everybody in Kathmandu Valley perhaps has had a nasty experience of its chaotic traffic. And, traffic management in the Valley has become knottier every passing year.
Traffic management in the capital is becoming more and more difficult due to the growing population, increasing number of vehicles, limited and narrow roads and breaching of traffic rules by drivers and the pedestrians alike, according to experts.
Moreover, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, the body established to regulate the vehicular traffic and maintain road safety in the Valley, lacks the required human resources to carry out its responsibilities in full steam.
The first car was brought in Kathmandu by the then Rana rulers some 115 years back. This vehicle brought from India was carried by people via Bhimphedi route for Kathmandu had no roads that time. But the members of the general public had the opportunity to use vehicles only about 1914 A.D.
The number of vehicles has increased exponentially in Kathmandu valley over the years along with the population increase.
There are around 1.1 million vehicles operating in the Kathmandu Valley lone, said Dr Tok Raj Pandey, spokesman at the Department of Transport Management. According to him, around one hundred thousand vehicles are added every year.
Although the registration of vehicles was started 69 years back in Nepal, an office for traffic management was established 66 years ago. This office was known as Ram Dal. The Central Traffic Company was set up in 1956. It only had 125 traffic policemen because the number of roads and vehicles was very limited at that time.
The modern-day version of the company, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, has 1346 traffic police personnel, Deputy Superintendent of Police at the Division, Binod Ghimire, said.
"The problem with traffic management is due to road expansion and construction of road infrastructures is far too little in comparison to the rate of urban growth as well as development of the transportation sector not getting the priority it should have got in government's policy and program," Ghimire said, adding that more than two thousand traffic police personnel would be required if the they were to mobilize the traffic police in accordance with the traffic pressure in Kathmandu. The Division currently has a total of 1,085 posts but due to the shortage of manpower, it is compelled to even assign the trainee traffic police personnel.
Thapathali, Kesharmahal, Naya Baneshwar, Koteshwar, Chabahil and Kalanki cross-roads, among other places, in the Kathmandu valley are the locations notorious for traffic jams, especially during office time. It is said that one has to wait for 3 to 5 minutes in traffic jam on office days on these main cross-roads. The Central Traffic Company was later christened as the Valley Traffic Police Office in 1994 and it is known as the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division after 2007.
The Division has set up its offices at 35 different places within the Kathmandu Valley. One traffic police personnel has to work between eight to 14 hours a day, the Division stated.
According to Division Chief Deputy Inspector General Mingmar Lama, they are working in accordance with the values of minimizing the traffic accidents, regulating and managing the traffic with high level of discipline, reforming the traffic organization as per the requirement of the times and increasing public participation in traffic management.
Lama said that although the total road length in the Kathmandu Valley at present is around 1,500 km, the total length of main roads where vehicles can operate two-way is only between 400 to 500 km. The Division has become stricter in taking action against drunk driving, drivers for flouting lane discipline and parking vehicles on the footpath and other offences in a bid to curtain road accidents.
The Traffic Police has been managing the Valley's traffic with the help of vehicle patrolling, CCTV and drone camera. Although the Division has tried to upgrade itself over the years, it seems it is going to have hard time managing the traffic in Kathmandu as the number of vehicles goes on increasing and will surely shot up in the coming days. RSS
Jaywalkers to face fine from May 30
The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) is to fine jaywalkers Rs 200 per person effective from May 30. Chief of the MTPD, Deputy Inspector General Mingmar Lama said the Division is also to conduct a road safety campaign to reduce the number of road fatalities in view of 40 percent of the total deaths in a year resulting from road accidents involving pedestrians.
Lady Justice statue removed from Bangladesh court complex
A statue of Lady Justice was removed from Bangladesh’s Supreme Court premises under tight security after Islamist hard-liners pressed for its removal, the sculptor said Friday. The statue of a woman holding a scale and sword in her hands was installed in December outside the court building. The woman is wrapped in a sari, a Bangladeshi revision of the usual representation, the Greek goddess Themis blindfolded and clad in a gown.
Two boys missing in Narayani River found dead
Two boys, who went missing in the Narayani River on Thursday, were found dead Friday. Ashish Shrestha, 18, of Gaindakot-1 and Bhupendra KC, 17, of Gaindakot-8 went missing on Thursday in course of swimming.
- Sole gharial in Chitwan National Park found dead
Pilgrim drowns in Gosaikunda
A pilgrim drowned in a lake in Gosaikunda Friday morning while taking a holy dip. The deceased has been identified as Rojina Karki, 40, of Naikap of Chandragiri Municipality-14, Kathmandu, police said. She arrived here along with her kin three days ago on a religious trip to observe the Ganga Dasahara Festival kicked off from today.
Oops! Deuba does it again
Deuba and Dahal have made a mockery of the constitutional provision of impeachment as a weapon of last resort with its preemptive registration as a tactical move to stop CJ Karki from delivering justice. This will set a bad precedent and there will be more such tactical use of impeachment in the future considering how justices at the SC are being appointed in political quotas in recent times.
Challenges for reconstruction
One of the major challenges faced in the reconstruction process of Nepal is the absence of elected local government. Lack of government in local level was reflected in the major pre-disaster and post-disaster events, where it took months to reach the affected region and still no widely-accepted data is available. In the absence of an elected local government, top-down approach of governance has its own accountability deficit.
Apil KC/Keshab Sharma
Jhamsikhel as I knew
Hari-ko-pasal, right at the said junction used to be the place to buy any household item ranging from food grains and other household items. There was nothing that he did not have. Most often he loved keeping his customers waiting, more so if they were younger. He kept his client engaged with jokes and tole gossip.
Empowering local bodies
It is common to rent a room or two based on nothing more than a verbal contract. There are two types of owners. There are many who rent legal properties informally and those who rent out illegally built ones. The rental space demand is so much that owners openly flout bylaws by building more number of floors than approved. It is difficult, as it is, to bring both type of owners within the system.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.