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Rain and rallies clog traffic at major thoroughfares

Rain and rallies clog traffic at major thoroughfares

1 August, Kathmandu:

The traffic congestion in major roads within the Kathmandu Valley cannot only be blamed on the growing number of vehicles while the crucial roles played by torrential rains and sporadic rallies laced with mostly political sloganeering cannot be shunned.

The number of vehicles is increasing in addition to the narrow streets which cause traffic jams, according to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Milan Basnet. “More than 850,000 vehicles ply the roads in Kathmandu Valley and the road network amounts to only 1,500 kilometres of area, due to which we see many traffic jams,” he added.

Basnet further shared that traffic congestion is seen mostly at major intersections including Tripureshwor, Kalimati, Bhotebahal, Thapathali, Maitighar, Kalanki, Jamal, Keshar Mahal, Khani Bivagh, Sorakhute, Balaju, Chabahil, Gwarko, Koteshwor and Jadibuti.

He said a vehicle has to wait at these intersections for at least five to seven minutes on an average. “The jam is thicker during the rush hour,” Basnet shared.
The traffic congestion is also due to haphazard road construction and unruly trend of parking the vehicles anywhere space is available, according to MTPD.

The rainwater has also been a factor contributing to diminishing the width of the roads. Most of the roads are partially waterlogged during torrential rainfall in the city.

The Tinkune intersection along with Tripureshwor, Jamal and Kesharmahal areas turn into temporary ponds during the downpours giving the city a chaotic outlook. At Naya Baneshwor intersection the traffic congestion is caused due to huge mass of people crossing the road through the Zebra crossing.

The traffic police are rightly overwhelmed and short on ideas to reduce the perennial congestion. SSP Basnet said the MTPD is holding discussion with the Road Department and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) for infrastructure construction to deal with traffic jams.

The MTPD does not have enough traffic police in the valley whereas the arrival of a VIP creates more problems. The size of the traffic police in the valley should have been 2000, but only 1200 are currently at work.

And whenever rallies descend onto the streets, it becomes nothing short of a nuisance adding to the travellers’ woes and engendering a sense of sheer instability and chaos. RSS

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