EDITORIAL: Tragic accident

We see that the provision of safer journeys is not followed by the transport operators who seem to care only about earning handsome profits

Major traffic accidents particularly on the tortuous rugged hill roads have becoming commonplace.

A bus met with a tragic accident Tuesday morning when 19 people travelling on it lost their lives and 14 others were critically injured in the mishap.

The seriously injured have been airlifted to the capital for treatment. One of the passengers of the ill-fated bus died while being treated at the TU Teaching Hospital. The accident took place at Jirokilo of Lapangkhola in Marpak VDC in Dhading.

Most of the victims were returning home after collecting Rs. 50,000, the first installment as grants to reconstruct their houses damaged by the major earthquakes last year.

The number of passengers in the bus is not known but it is believed that it was ferrying more passengers than its capacity. Overloading is one of the reasons why many buses meet with accidents.

Also to blame for this tragedy was the poor condition of the road which is said to have been hit by falling debris from a landslide and it had been cleared. The driver had lost control of the bus as it skidded from the muddy road. It fell down some 300 meters.

As we approach the festive seasons many people are going to their ancestral home. It appears that the present number of buses are not sufficient to handle the huge demand. It is obvious that most of the buses will be packed with passengers beyond their capacity which could cause other similar accidents.

Most of the roads are not safe and the roads are too narrow for big buses. Many of the roads were built only for small vehicles.

Unfortunately, bowing down to pressure of the locals the authorities have allowed the big buses to use these roads which have become very risky as shown by various accidents in the rural roads over the years.

Therefore, the authorities should take the necessary action and the traffic police should be mobilized in the country’s roads to see to it that the buses are not carrying excess passengers.

The traffic police should under no condition be lenient for at stake are precious human lives. All those violating the traffic rules should face stern action.

However, if we look back we see passengers even riding on the roof of buses. Yet little is being done to prevent them from doing so. Furthermore, the buses tend to travel at high speeds even when the roads are in a poor condition with numerous potholes.

As such, journeys by buses are often fatal. The buses travelling on the longer routes should have at least two drivers since driving long distances can be tiring.

But we see that this provision for safer journeys is not followed by the transporters who seem to care only about earning handsome profits.

When there is high demand for bus tickets in the longer routes the transporters who appear to have imposed a syndicate system not permitting other buses to ply on certain routes should do away with it.

More buses should be allowed so that people can travel home without taking risky rides on the unsafe highways of the country.

Raise awareness

At least 20 people including two residents of the Kathmandu Valley have been tested positive for dengue virus and two others for chikungunya, both of which are transmitted through mosquitoes.

Mild to high fever, severe headache, pain in eyes and muscles and rashes are the common symptoms of dengue and chikungunya.

Although cumulative figure for dengue and chikungunya has yet to be updated doctors at the Sukararaj Tropical and Infectious Disease Control Hospital have said the cases of vector-borne diseases have also been reported in other districts as well.

The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has said that adequate amount of medicine has been dispatched to all health facilities in the Tarai region and necessary training has also been imparted to the health workers to deal with the dengue and chikungunya.

Taking precautionary measures and consulting the health worker in case of detecting such symptoms are the best ways to be safe from being infected with both the diseases.

Using insecticide treated mosquito nets and removing the waterlogged areas around human settlements can help protect people from getting infected with such diseases.

The health workers should also raise awareness in areas where the likelihood of spreading the vector-borne diseases is extremely high.