Home Minister Sharma seeks plan for traffic management

Concerned agencies have been directed to construct overhead bridges

Kathmandu, June 17

Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma has directed Nepal Police, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited, Nepal Telecom, Nepal Electricity Authority, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Department of Roads, Department of Transport Management and other concerned agencies to chalk out and submit a traffic management plan within three days.

He also stressed on installing traffic lights in at least 200 places and intersections of Kathmandu Valley. At a meeting with government agencies related to traffic management yesterday, Minister Sharma said, “Let’s install traffic lights in 200 places of the Valley through fast-track process. The government is ready to allocate budget required for this purpose.”

He said it was needless to fully depend on the Asian Development Bank for traffic lights. He also directed the concerned agencies to immediately work on construction of overhead bridges as may be required besides marking over 800 zebra-crossings in the Valley within 15 days.

“It is high time we replace light vehicles with mass transport and relocate dozens of petrol pumps operating from the roadside,” he said, directed officials to form a committee headed by KMC Executive Director Ishwor Raj Paudel for traffic management.

On the occasion, Inspector General of Police Prakash Aryal suggested that the government provide for a provision of electronic parking meter system instead of pay parking as the latter was giving rise to roudyism. “Transport syndicate is a long-standing problem in the Valley and the entire country and the government should dismantle it. Traffic management could be improved by making arrangements of safe pedestrian crossing and overhead bridges in major intersections,” he suggested.

Kumlan Ghising, NEA managing director, said traffic management could be improved if the flow vehicles other than public ones was controlled during peak hours.

Gopal Prasad Sigdel, director general at Department of Roads, informed that it was all set to instal traffic lights in at least 35 places of the Valley within the next fiscal. “Currently, the Valley has overhead bridges and construction of such infrastructures is under way at a distance of nine kilometres alone the Ring Road. The Department of Roads is conducting a study for construction of overhead bridges at Tripureshwor and Maitighar as well,” he said.

Bhaikaji Tiwari, development commissioner at Kathmandu Valley Development Authority, highlighted the acute problem of parking spaces and said its arrangement alone could help ease traffic congestion to a great extent.

DIG Mingmar Lama, MTPD in-charge, lamented that traffic management could not be improved although it took action against over 600,000 motorists in one year.

“The Valley is in need of overhead bridges in at least 18 places of the Valley,” he said. DIG Lama also attached

the priority to bring about reforms in driving licence issuance system.

Rup Narayan Bhattarai, director general at Department of Transport Management, demanded that the government provide it portable transport scale systems on the national highways and transits of Kathmandu Valley to check overloading of freight vehicles.