Number of City traffic lights inadequate: Expert

Kathmandu, March 18:

The traffic lights set up at major junctions in the capital are inadequate to control traffic flow, especially during office hours.

Only 14 major junctions, including Thapathali, Putali Sadak, Koteshwore, Durbar Marg, Kalimati, Gaushala, Baneshwore, have traffic lights. “At least 72 more traffic lights need to be set up immediately in crossroads and intersections in Ring Road, said Sunil Poudel, an engineer at the Department of Roads (DoR).

“Despite the immediate need of the traffic lights to control the flow of vehicles, we cannot afford to set up them because installation at each junction costs over Rs 2 million,” said Poudel.

The DoR record states that the total length of road in the valley is around 1,000 km and the number of vehicles plying on the Valley roads has increased from 176,415 in the year 2001-02 to 317,502 in the year 2006-07.

Poudel added that the existing lights were set up in 1994 and after to maintain traffic flow and need to be updated with the increment in the number of vehicles.

Besides setting up more traffic lights, restricting big vehicles from plying on city roads will also help, he said. “Drivers and pedestrians are yet to follow traffic rules despite their knowledge,” he added.

The first light was set up in Thapathali in 1994, then gradually expanded to other parts of the city in 1996, 2002, 2005 and 2006.