Authorities told to abide by road safety directives

  • Panel members pointed out several factors responsible for road accidents in the country

Kathmandu, December 20

Development and Technology Committee under the House of Representatives reiterated some of its suggestions made to the authorities concerned regarding reform in transport system for ensuring road safety across the country.

In an interaction organised here with the representatives of Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and its subordinate bodies on how to minimise road accidents, the Committee President Kalyani Kumari Khadka blamed the ministry concerned, its subordinates and entrepreneurs for not abiding by the recommendation it had made to them.

She stressed on quick implementation of the panel’s directives.

Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Basanta Nembang said the ministry was serious towards road safety and traffic management. He assured the lawmaker that suggestions received from the parliamentary panel were being implemented.

Secretary at MoPIT Devendra Karki informed the panel that the process of forming Road Safety Council and Authority had begun. He added that the process had also begun to establish vehicle fitness centre in each province and it was in progress in Hetauda of Province 3.

Director General Keshav Kumar Sharma of the Department of Roads said DoR was building necessary physical infrastructure to ensure road safety. A minimum of two-lane roads were being constructed in the country as per the decision made by the government three years ago.

According to him, sidewalks were being constructed, traffic signals installed, faded zebra crossings repainted and work to reduce number of road bends in several places was under way.

Director General at Department of Transport Management Gagan Bahadur Hamal said the issues relating to road safety were multi-stakeholder ones and due to lack of human resources the department and transport office could not effectively oversee them.

Panel member Ganesh Pahadi asserted that a single driver taking charge of long-route vehicles had also contributed to growing cases of road accidents. He suggested the Road Safety Council be made autonomous. The Council is a line agency under the ministry.

Another member of the committee Prabhu Saha said the width of the roads should be maintained considering prospects of growth in accordance to the future volume of vehicles, before initiating any road project.

Furthermore, with the expansion of roads, human settlement would grow. Hence, land requisition strategy be mooted accordingly.

Another member Yagyaraj Sunuwar said road accidents occurred as the drivers were not familiar with geography and terrain.

Another member Rangamati Shahi pressed for the need to expedite the formation of the council and make necessary preparations to ensure road safety.