"Will ease valley traffic congestion"

Kathmandu, November 30

The Department of Transport Management is planning to implement new vehicle routes from December 16 in Kathmandu valley by shuffling the current routes for vehicles.

The department is implementing the new vehicle routes in the valley in a bid to address the problem of traffic congestion, which DoTM officials attribute to haphazard issuance of vehicle route permits.

Gokarna Prasad Updahyay, spokesperson for DoTM, said the new ‘scientific’ routes for public vehicles plying in the valley have been determined and will be implemented from December 16 after the last round of discussion with stakeholders of the transportation industry. “New routes for vehicles have been determined on the basis of availability of passengers on different routes, road network and size of vehicles,” he  told THT.

New vehicle routes in Kathmandu valley that DoTM plans to implement from mid-December is based on suggestions of the study carried out by the Asian Development Bank, which has categorised road networks in the valley into three types — primary, secondary and tertiary. The ADB study has suggested that the department should issue route permits to large public vehicles for primary routes and to comparatively smaller vehicles for the secondary and tertiary routes.

The new vehicle route system that is in the offing has identified 66 vehicle routes in the valley, of which 15 routes are primary while the remaining are secondary and tertiary. DoTM plans to issue route permits in the primary routes only to public vehicles with a capacity of seating 80 passengers. Vehicles with a capacity to seat 60 passengers or less will be allowed to ply along secondary and tertiary identified routes.

Currently, there are over 300 routes for smaller and larger public vehicles in the valley. The longest primary vehicle route in the valley will be the Ring Road route, stretching 27 kilometres, according to DoTM.

Primary routes for vehicles identified by DoTM include Ring Road, Budhanilkantha-Lagankhel, Old Buspark-Bhaktapur, Nagdhunga-Mulpani, Mulpani-Lagankhel and Lagankhel-Godavari.

Though DoTM had been issuing vehicle routes on recommendations of transport bodies, the trend was stopped after

the government scrapped registration of such bodies a few months ago in an attempt to end syndicate system prevalent in the country’s transportation industry.