Traffic chaos upsets Biratnagar folks

Biratnagar, October 14:

Traffic chaos is not only the daily scene Kathmanduities witness. The problem has been a headache nowadays for the residents of the country’s second biggest town — Biratnagar — as well.

Increasing number of vehicles, old road networks, haphazard parking and unmanaged foothpaths have aggravated the problem. Drivers say police personnel do not punish those, who violate traffice rules, if they are bribed.

Though traffic policemen can be seen in every nook and cranny blowing whistles, but traffic rules are being violated. Traffic rules are ignored because traffic police wink their eyes to the probem when they are bribed, said Bhabish Shrestha, vice-president of the eastern Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs’ Union.

Vehicular movement leading to Traffic Chowk from the main road near the District Police Office and to Janaandolan Chowk from Shani Mandir on Dharan-Biratnagar road are always jammed from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Though the traffic police introduced one-way traffic system on the main road and made mandatory for buses to stop at certain points only, the rules are never implemented.

Sub-inspector at the district traffic police office Bhagirath Regmi held drivers responsible for causing the traffic chaos. However, he denied that traffic policemen are taking bribe.

On the other hand, drivers accuse the police of not doing anything to ease the traffic problem.

As vehicles are stopping in any places the drivers like, the problem has remained intact, said a driver, Jeevan Khanal.

Though vehicles are allowed to stop only at Janaandolan Chowk and Bhrikuti Chowk, but drivers ignore the regulation and instead park at over 10 places and pick-up and drop passengers haphazardly, said Regmi.

Rising number of rickshaws is believed as another cause of traffic chaos in Biratnagar that has more than 5,000 rickshaws. Though the Sub-Metropolitan City halted new registration of rickshaws, hundreds of rickshaws registered in Morang and Sunsari districts continue to ply here.