Kathmandu, September 22
Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa today launched a programme — Mobilisation of Volunteers for Traffic Management in Kathmandu Valley — at a function here today.
According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, 500 volunteers will be mobilised as part of Community-Police Partnership Programme to improve and enhance traffic management system in the valley.
The volunteers will include renowned artists, air hostesses and students from schools and colleges and members of clubs and transport companies.
The volunteers will be provided with a one-day training and orientation on traffic management. Objectives of the programme are to strengthen relationship between youths and police, raise awareness among people about the need to abide by the traffic rules, develop road discipline and ease traffic congestion by regulating vehicular movement. Around 1,000 traffic police personnel have been deputed on a daily basis to manage the traffic in the valley.
As per the programme, the traffic volunteers will help pedestrians at zebra-crossings, suggest pedestrians to use footpath and overhead bridges where such infrastructures are available, assist passengers in taking public vehicles at bus stops, manage pick-up and drop-off points, request motorists to maintain lane discipline and provide
necessary support to passenger help desks.
The volunteers will be mobilised with special focus on Durbar Marg, Keshar Mahal, Jamal-Bhotahiti, New Road, Nagsthan, Tripureshwor, Koteshwor, Baneshwor, New Bus Park, Maitighar, Singha Durbar, Putalisadak, Pulchowk, Kupandol, Maharajgunj, Gaushala, Gwarko and Kalanki. Metropolitan Traffic Police Division said the traffic volunteers will be on duty for 15 days.
Speaking at the function, Minister Thapa underscored the need to reconsider the development of long term policy for improvement of traffic management system. “Unplanned urbanisation has been a major hurdle for effective traffic management in the valley. Therefore, it has become very important to take into account the issues of traffic management before undertaking any development work,” he suggested. “Mobilisation of volunteers will be helpful in making the road users aware of traffic rules,” Minister Thapa added.
Inspector General of Police Sarbendra Khanal said that traffic management had become comparatively more effective in recent years in the valley.
“Yet we have to think about building better road infrastructure and making people respect traffic rules,” he said.
According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, an average of 800,000 vehicles ply the valley roads on a daily basis. As many as 254 persons were killed in road accidents in the valley in fiscal 2018-19 compared to 194 in previous fiscal. Around 33 per cent of the victims were pedestrians.
A version of this article appears in print on September 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.