Stakeholders discuss ways to manage traffic chaos

Kathmandu, December 23

If all goes as planned, all busy road intersections in the Kathmandu Valley will be equipped with traffic lights for effective traffic management.

A meeting of the Metropolitan Police Office, Department of Roads, Department of Transport Management and other stakeholders held in the capital yesterday formed a three-member committee to study ways to effectively manage traffic congestion.

The committee headed by Superintendent of Police Poshraj Pokharel at the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division comprises one member each from the DoR and DoTM. It has been given 15 days to submit its report.

The meeting has also agreed to set up a mechanism comprising a Traffic Unit at the DoR, MTPD and other stakeholders to come up with ways to effectively manage vehicular traffic at various busy road intersections of the Valley.

Stating that efforts of MPO, DoR and DoTM alone cannot bring about a complete transformation, Police Commissioner AIGP Pratap Singh Thapa laid emphasis on coordination and collaboration among all stakeholders.

The meeting mainly dwelt on repair of exiting traffic lights and installation of new ones.

Madhav Karki, DoR director general, however, sought installation of new traffic lights instead of repairing the existing ones. “Repairing the existing traffic lights will be like pouring water into a leaky vessel. Therefore, we should go for state-of-the-art technologies,” he informed.

Chief district officers of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur pledged that they would play a coordinating role in bringing all stakeholder agencies together for effective traffic management.

DIGP Jaya Bahadur Chand, MTPD in-charge, said installation of more traffic lights was the only way to tackle the shortage of human resources.

It has been 50 years since the traffic light system was introduced in Kathmandu.

According to the Department of Transport Management, as many as 16,60,250 vehicles have been registered in the country as of fiscal year 2014-15. Nearly 50 per cent of them ply the Valley roads. But traffic lights have been installed in only 16 places of the Valley.

Of them, traffic lights in Kalanki, Kalimati, Thapathali, Maitighar, Singha Durbar, Padmodaya Mod, Putali Sadak, Keshar Mahal, Durbar Marg, New Baneshwor, Gasushala and Tinkune are out of order for the past six years.

The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has identified 26 places for installation of intelligent traffic system in the first phase, 23 places in the second phase and 17 places in the third phase.