Rush at Ratna Park
Three days ago, the Kathmandu Post carried an article on the traffic problems in the capital city of the country. It pointed out to the government apathy towards increasing the road network in the city. (See: Apathy feeds road congestion, The Kathmandu Post December 9)
The statistics mentioned in the article presented a scenario how much the government has failed to address the problems of the general public. Following the article, the Everest Uncensored tried to see rush hour traffic at some major road segments in the valley. And the findings were disgusting, of which some are mentioned here.
Excepting exceptions, the valley road network has the traffic jams during office hours i.e. 9-11am and 4-6 (3-5) pm in winter.
Jammed at Koteshor
Besides, it has the jams throughout the day in and within the Ring Road.
Ratna Park-Lainchaur-Balaju, Kalimati-Kalanki-Thankot, Sita Paila- Kalanki, Tinkune-Kotesho-Bhaktapur, Purano Baneshor-Maitidevi are the road segments most vulnerable to traffic jams.
Out going Passengers have to wait hours to leave Kalanki in the morning; sometimes it takes up to three and more hours to leave Kalanki from Balaju Bus Park.
And passengers have to wait hours to reach Kalanki from Thankot at the evening.
Generally, it is rare to reach the destination without traffic jams.
Most passengers complained that they are delayed at their destination mostly because of the traffic jams.
The jams are mostly created by the public transport vehicles picking and dropping the passengers where they prefer, ignoring the traffic signals and rules.
Rush hour at Bhat Bhateni: Bhatbhateni to Naxal is also a major road segment with frequent traffic jams.
Road maintenance and digging by Telecom and Drinking Water Supply also lead the cause of frequent traffic jams in the capital.
Motor cyclists complain that their eyes are affected by the smoke from the old vehicles and the dust flying from the road.
Pedestrians complain that when there is jam, the motor cyclists move forward even not leaving space for them.
Jams are also created by the wedding processions playing Band in the road, without caring others’ worries and halting the congested road for hours.
The jams are also created many times in the festivals, rallies and fairs.
The people crossing the road, ignoring the over head bridges also can create jams for a few minutes and are the major causes of accidents.
The movement of the Royal families also halts traffic movement; sometimes for many hours.
Not to talk about the demonstrations by various political parties and interest groups for political cause; they can create jams for hours and even for the whole day.
There can be as many as more problems. However, the major were mentioned here. Then what may be the solution? Should the Kathmanduists continue giving in before those jams, ignoring their own hurries? The article mentioned that the road network has to be enhanced, maintained and extended. There is no doubt.
Rush hour at Maharajgung teaching hospital area.
However, there may be other options as well to address the problem. The valley Traffic Police has recently introduced the toll free no. 103 to inform public about the traffic management in the valley. The traffic bulletins at major FM stations in the valley are also regular phenomenon. Bringing awareness on the people and strict implementation of the traffic rules may be an immediate address to the problem. Nevertheless, the extension of the road network is vital.
Finally the no entry zone: going through Asan area even for two wheelers is also almost impossible most of the time.