The tendency of digging roads and leaving them unrepaired has worsened traffic congestion
Kathmandu, July 9
Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma said today the government was working to ease traffic congestion in Kathmandu Valley.
Responding to queries raised by lawmakers in the Parliament today, he said, “Currently, we are working on a plan by forming a committee under the coordination of chief executive officer of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. We will give final shape to the proposed plan within 15 days and proceed with its implementation.”
Minister Sharma claimed that people would be able to feel the difference within two to three months of the implementation of the plan. “All MoHA can do to ease traffic congestion in the Valley is to mobilise traffic police personnel. Therefore, we felt the need to develop a systematic plan with participation of all departmental heads of the stakeholder ministries,” he informed.
Stating that rampant encroachment of footpaths was also contributing to traffic jam, he stressed the need to make necessary preparations to penalise the guilty besides conducting awareness programmes.
“The tendency of digging roads and leaving them unrepaired by different ministries has worsened traffic congestion. I have raised the issue with the prime minister as well. It is a high time that all worked together to solve this problem,” he said.
On a different note, Home Minister Sharma told the House that some of the prison houses have turned inhabitable. “The 2015 earthquakes have caused damage to the already dilapidated prison facilities. We are mulling over the possibility of allowing jailbirds to sell their labour outside the jail,” he said.
Earlier, the Department of Prison Management had informed that the government was moving ahead with the process of adopting ‘open prison policy’ to ease the pressure of jailbirds on crowded prisons and to turn the prisons into correction centres as per the Prison Act, 1963.
The government has acquired around 535 ropani land in Banke for the construction of open prison with the capacity of over 5,000 persons. An open prison is a penal establishment where prisoners, who have served at least half their jail term and have demonstrated good conduct, are trusted to do their time.
A version of this article appears in print on July 10, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.