Kathmandu, September 27
The Department of Transport Management has banned cargo trucks and lorries from entering or leaving Kathmandu valley with effect from Sunday in order to ease traffic congestion during Dashain.
An urgent public notice published by the DoTM today said that no 10-wheeler or multi-axle trailer trucks carrying goods other than drugs and essential commodities would be allowed to ply the roads inside Kathmandu from September 29 to October 5. The DoTM informed that a decision to this effect was made to reduce the traffic jam on the highways and ensure safety and comfort of people going back to their hometowns. This rule will be applicable for the heavy duty vehicles from Narayanghat to Kathmandu.
Metropolitan Traffic Police Division said it would strictly implement the decision of the DoTM, the regulating body responsible for overall management of road transport service in the country. The heavy duty vehicles are one of the causes of traffic jam on the congested two-lane highway due to their slower dynamics.
Meanwhile, MTPD said that it had made special security arrangements to prevent road accidents during Dashain, Tihar and Chhath. Senior Superintendent of Police Bhim Prasad Dhakal, MTPD in-charge, informed that police in uniform and plain clothes equipped with breathalysers were deployed at all entry points to Kathmandu valley to prevent drunk driving.
Traffic police have started conducting regular and surprise alcohol meter test on drivers, with major focus on long-route buses as people have already started leaving the valley for their home villages and towns to cerebrate Dashain. Passenger help desks have been set up in 14 places of the valley to enforce traffic rules, besides facilitating travellers and taking action against crooked transport entrepreneurs. Traffic offences increase during the festive season. According to MTPD, around 2.5 people were expected to leave the valley to celebrate Dashain.
Traffic police officials said the help desks were set up to assist people in booking and acquiring travel tickets, given the tickets were not sold out. Ticket booking counters have been asked to display bus fares to ensure transparency. Help desks will also warn ticket booking clerks against possible incidents of double-ticketing, blackmailing, overcharging and selling tickets in black. Officials deployed at help desks will arrest and take action against those involved in fraudulent activities. MTPD has appealed to all to lodge complaints at the help desks if they face any problems.
For the safety of the commuters, the exiting law requires the transporter entrepreneurs to have two drivers in each vehicle that ply the routes longer than 250 km to prevent road accidents due to exhaustion. SSP Dhakal said this rule would be implemented in an effective manner.
A version of this article appears in print on September 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.