Fewer people leaving Valley for Dashain

Adverse impact of fuel crisis on transport sector has caused a huge decline in outflow of people from the Valley for Dashain

Kathmandu, October 14

With the onset of Dashain, the greatest festival of Hindu Nepalis, there has been a gradual increase in the outflow of people heading home from the Kathmandu Valley for the festival.

Migrant workers returning home from abroad and students in the Valley had been worrying until a few days ago whether they would be able to join their family members for the festival. But since Ghatasthapana, the first day of Dashain, people have started leaving for their home towns and villages.

However, the outflow of people from the Valley for Dashain this year is lower than previous years. “I am very much exited to join relatives and neighbours for the festival, but I fear if I will be able to return for work on time. I will wait till Fulpati to decide whether or not to go home,” said Harish Bhandari of Jhapa. Bhandari works for a Kantipath-based private company.

DSP Rajendra Bhatta of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division told The Himalayan Times that the number of people leaving Kathmandu through all four transit points of Kathmandu — Kalanki, Balaju, Nagdhunga, Pharping — is on the rise after Ghatasthapana.

“Around 50,000-59,000 persons have been leaving the capital city daily after Ghatasthapana compared to around 33,000-43,000 in previous weeks. The adverse impact of fuel crisis on the transport sector has caused a huge decline in the outflow of people this year,” he informed. More than 71,000 persons had left the capital on Ghatasthapana last year. On normal days, around 7,500 vehicles leave the Valley.

Bhatta also said that 4,074 vehicles, both public and private, left the capital yesterday. According to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, around 1.5 million people leave for their home districts during the festival.

The outflow will peak on Fulpati before a lull for a few days. The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has set up help desks in Kalanki and New Bus Park for passengers heading for their home districts. It is preparing to set up additional 10 help desks in the Valley.

A joint team comprising traffic police, representatives from the Department of Transport Management and transport entrepreneurs has also be inspecting and monitoring vehicles to ensure that they are carrying passengers within capacity.