People heading home for Dashain
Kathmandu, October 18
With the beginning of Dashain, a large number of people, including tens of thousands of migrant workers, students, civil servants and private employees, have been leaving the capital for their home towns and villages to join their families during the festival.
Looking at the ongoing outflow of people from the Valley, around 1.2 million people are expected to leave Kathmandu for their homes to celebrate Dashain this year. Around two million people had left the Valley last Dashain via road, according to the traffic police.
DSP Rajendra Bhatta of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division informed THT that around 600,000 people had left the capital through all four transits over the past one week and as many people were expected to move home in the coming four days. On an average, 70,000 people have left the capital and the number is likely to double till the day of Mahaasthami.
Around 7,000 buses, minibuses and micro buses have started ferrying passengers to their destinations on a daily basis. More than 12,000 vehicles had left the capital during the same period last year.
Bhatta said traffic police officers were mobilised to manage and regulate vehicular traffic so as to ensure passengers’ safety. Passenger help desks have been set up at Kalanki, Satdobato, Balkhu, Koteshwor, Airport, Gaushala, Jorpati, New Bus Park, Old Bus Park, Sundhara, Swyambhu and Nagdhunga to provide necessary help to passengers.
These desks will check if the vehicles are carrying passengers beyond capacity and also take action against drunk drivers. Traffic police, however, have allowed the passengers to travel on the roof of vehicles as very few vehicles are plying due to fuel shortage.
To prevent road accidents, the government has made it mandatory for transport entrepreneurs to hire two drivers for long-route vehicles. Meanwhile, traffic police have arrested three transport workers for double-ticketing and overcharging passengers.