On the right track
The government has started to carry out some of the recommendations made by the task force headed by joint secretary of the Home Ministry, Pratap Kumar Pathak, which was formed to suggest ways to make the lives of people of Kathmandu Valley a little easier. Among the suggestions are: eviction of all street vendors from footpaths within a month, formation of a high-level commission to widen Valley roads, strict provisions against violators of traffic rules, both pedestrians and drivers.
Likewise, another recommendation suggests barring low-speed vehicles and vehicles ferrying waste from plying during rush hours, and yet another to mange traffic lights at major intersections. The government has already embarked on the implementation stage starting with clearance of footpaths. Incredibly, the number of vehicles in the capital has increased by a whopping 399 per cent in the last decade while road network has been extended by a meagre three per cent. In this scenerio, the government’s desire to take decisive steps to manage the chaotic traffic in the Valley is commendable. But good plans alone do not suffice unless they can be strictly implemented. In the process, the government authorities also need to tread carefully so as not to trample on the legitimate rights of those who will be adversely affected during the implementation phase.