Koteshwor-Kalanki stretch suffers worst traffic jams

Kathmandu, September 6

The 9.6 kilometres stretch of Ring Road from Koteshwor to Kalanki suffers the worst traffic jams in the Kathmandu Valley, owing to mismanaged construction of an eight-lane road.

Traffic In-charge of Lalitpur, Sitaram Hachhethu, said, “There are many reasons behind traffic congestion along the road section.

There are no traffic lane dividers, designated bus stops or well-maintained zebra crossings, and the road isn’t properly black-topped.” He added that the monsoon rain has damaged the road, which is now riddled with potholes, making it harder for vehicles to travel as quickly as before.

Hachhethu said, “Even though the road has is eight lanes, vehicles don’t have enough space for travel. Although there are separate roads for private and public vehicles, without traffic lane dividers we have not able to monitor whether the rules are being followed.”

Hachhethu informed that the contract for expanding this particular road stretch has been given to a Chinese contractor. The company has promised to finish construction within three years, but the contract was extended by two years later. The construction will take another five years.

Traffic congestion is not the only problem caused by the mismanagement. Accidents have increased in the Ring Road area lately. Hachhethu said nine people have died in a month in various road accidents in the Ring Road area, such as Satdobato, Ekantakuna, and Kalanki.

“Buses stop haphazardly, and pedestrians don’t have proper pavements to walk on or zebra crossings, increasing the risk of accidents,” he said. To aggravate the situation, the Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan city has separated nearly two lanes of road for parking at Kusumti and Ekantakuna areas.

Head of Revenue Department at Lalitpur Sub-metropolis Dilli Raj Shakya said the demand for parking area along the section was really high, so the sub-metropolis had designated a section of the road for bike parking.

Shakya said, “We have to spend Rs 900 million every year to build and maintain various infrastructures, an expense we have to generate through tax and other sources. We gave permission to use that area for parking to supplement our income.”