Kalanki underpass opens for public

- ANUP OJHA, Kathmandu

Aug 18, 2018-

The country’s first 800-meter underpass between Khasi Bazaar and Bafal Chowk opened for the public on Friday, freeing the area of traffic hassles.

“We have informally opened the subway trail. The final inauguration will be held on December,” said Prakash Bhandari, project manager at the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project (KRRIIP).

The underpass in Kalanki is the part of 10.5km Kalanki-Koteshwor stretch along the Ring Road built on China’s grant of Rs5.13 billion.

The original plan was to open the underpass on June 29, but it was delayed due to technical reasons, said Bhandari.

The four lane underpass still needs dividers, traffic signs, light signals and one more layer of asphalts, said the officials. On the day of the opening, Metropolitan Traffic Police Office, Kalanki, deployed 36 traffic personnel to direct the traffic on the newly opened subway.

“It’s new. The drivers are getting confused. So for the first few days, we need to be proactive and stay in all the entry points,” said Police Inspector Bimal Thapa.

After the subway opened to the public, traffic in Kalanki was smooth. Vehicles that go through the Ring Road had an uninterrupted passage via the underpass, and the separate lanes on the sides ensured the smooth flow of vehicles accessing the residential areas.

Kalanki is notorious for its traffic snarls. The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division’s data shows that every day, around 70,000 people travel in over 8,000 public and private vehicles through Kalanki, and on average, people had to stay in the traffic for over two hours. The trail opening has made the commutes and locals happy.

“For nearly half-a-decade, we had a difficult time because of the traffic jam in Kalanki. I never liked to travel by that road. Now, the road looks wide and I hope the pollution level will come down soon,” said Bhagawati Bhusal, a Bafal resident.

The subway project work started in 2013. The April 25, 2015 earthquake and India’s trade embargo had slowed the construction process due to the shortage of construction materials.

Published: 18-08-2018 08:09

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