General

Accidents mar festival travel rush

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Oct 16, 2018-

Road accidents and fatalities have shot up across the country once again as the month-long annual festivities get underway.

In the last five days of Dashain, the biggest festival of the Nepali Hindus, as many as 34 persons have died in road accidents.

Road casualties are a major concern in the travel rush every year as Nepalis visit their hometowns and districts to celebrate the festival with their family, friends and relatives.

According to Nepal Police Spokesperson SSP Shailesh Thapa Kshetri, there was no let-up in traffic accidents this year. Road accidents have remained slightly lower so far this year though, Kshetri told the Post.

At least four persons died on the road on Tuesday in Saptari, Gulmi and Nawalparasi districts.Bharat Bahadur Gurung, 53, and Lal Bahadur Gurung, 39, of Chandrakot Rural Municipality-2 died in Gulmi when a jeep (Lu 1 Ja 2181) skidded off the road and fell some 300 meters into a river.

Critically injured after being hit by a motorcycle at Saptakoshi Municipality-4, Kisun Sada, 25, breathed his last at Golden Hospital, Biratnagar on Tuesday.Dhan Bahadur Magar, 20, of Dhodheni in Gaindakot was killed in a truck accident at Binayitriveni Rural Municipality along the East-West Highway in Nawalparasi.

In a traffic accident at Kamalamai Municipality of Sindhuli on Tuesday, five members of a family were injured. Three reportedly got critical injuries in the taxi accident.Fatalities were reported on Sunday night as well. Binadevi Mandal of Chobhar died at KMC Hospital, Sinamangal from serious injuries inflicted when a private jeep en route to Hetauda struck her down near Balamigaun, Dalkhu.

In Chitwan district, one person was killed and seven others were injured in separate accidents on Sunday night.

According to Nepal Police statistics, since Ghatasthapna, the first day of the festival, 213 road accidents have been recorded in several districts.

As many as 145 persons have been injured and 55 others seriously hurt in road accidents so far this Dashain.

The highest number of incidents was reported in Kathmandu Valley. In a total 151 accidents on Valley roads, seven persons died, three got critical injuries while 92 were hurt mildly.

Traffic offices elsewhere also recorded accidents that killed or injured passengers. Seven persons were killed in accidents in western Nepal, according to the Butwal Traffic Police Office. Five deaths were reported in Ramnagar of Chitwan.

According to Nepal Police, from September 21 to October 5 last year, 104 people died in a total of 380 road accidents across the country. Last Dashain, the highest number of deaths was reported by Butwal Traffic Office (31), followed by Pathlaiya (28) and Itahari (27).

Most of the accidents are blamed on driver’s negligence, speed, traffic rule violations, poor condition of roads and poorly maintained public vehicles.Recently, the Post reported that a majority of vehicles ferrying holidaymakers are in miserable conditions. A random mechanical test of the vehicles by Province 2 Traffic Police last month showed that public vehicles failed to meet basic safety requirements.

According to SSP Kshetri, 2,700 traffic police personnel have been deployed in various parts of the country to enforce traffic rules in a bid to minimise accidents. “We have also set up check-posts and random checking points to regularly monitor drunk-driving or compliance with traffic rules,” added SSP Kshetri.

As vehicles operating on long-routes are more prone to accidents, police have set up resting places along the highway in the seven provinces.

Published: 16-10-2018 07:11

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