Public vehicles barred from waiting at city centre

Kathmandu, December 16

Traffic police, in association with Kathmandu Metropolitan City, has enforced a new rule for public vehicles to reduce the problem of traffic congestion around Tundikhel with effect from today.

A recent meeting of Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, KMC, Department of Transport Management, Department of Roads and concerned stakeholders had taken a decision to allow the public vehicles only to pick up and drop off passengers around Tundikhel area.

Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Kumar Panta, MPCD in-charge, said the new rule was put in place to reduce traffic congestion by making vehicular movement systematic. “From now onwards, public vehicles will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers without stopping for long at the designated points. Anyone violating the rule will be liable to fine under the Vehicle and Transport Management Act,” he informed. There are six pick-up and drop-off points for public transport.

SSP Panta said the tendency of stopping public vehicles for a long time to wait for passengers had resulted in traffic congestion on busy roads. “Traffic congestion around Tundhikhel used to have chain effects on other parts of the city,” SSP Panta said.

Earlier, public vehicles used to keep waiting until they were packed with passengers with little regard to already boarded commuters who expected to reach their destination in time. The area around Tundikhel has busy stops of tempo, bus, minibus and microbus. According to MTPD, this rule will be gradually enforced throughout Kathmandu Valley. Any person caught violating traffic rules is punished with a fine of minimum Rs 500 and maximum Rs 1,500.

The new rule for public transport is expected to help ease and facilitate smooth movement of vehicles. Traffic congestion has become a regular phenomenon in Kathmandu and travellers are often stuck in jam due to poor traffic management.

Lack of infrastructure, inadequate road network and traffic congestion, especially during peak hours, have also made traffic rule violations a norm in the valley. MTPD states that over 1.2 million vehicles, including 700,000 two-wheelers, ply the valley roads daily. Rampant violation of lane discipline and long wait of public vehicles were causing an adverse effect on the traffic condition.