Capital

Kathmandu to enforce ‘pick and drop’ rule from December 16

  • City Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya says the new campaign aims to make Kathmandu a traffic-congestion free city
- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu
In the competition to snatch passengers, mirco-bus and tempo drivers often race with each other on the crowded streets of Kathmandu and stop vehicles diagonally to prevent rival buses passing them and grabbing passengers from the next crowded station

Dec 6, 2018-

Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has announced a new ‘pick and drop’ campaign in Sundhara, Ratnapark and Jamal area starting from December 16.

The plan hopes to mitigate the chaotic traffic congestion in these core areas. The key feature of this plan is not permitting public vehicles to halt for a long time soliciting passengers.

Initially, the new rule will be implemented in Sundhara, Ratnapark, Bir Hospital, Nepal Airlines, Bhadrakali, KMC officials said.

These areas are notorious for traffic jams. Private buses, micro-buses and tempo are the main contributors to the congestion. 

Private operators halt their vehicles for a long time at key stations while the bus conductors, often young boys with fancy hair styles, solicit passengers.

While the young conductor almost pleads with people waiting on the pavements at Kumari Pati, Jawalakhel, Pulchowk, Labim Mall, Kupondole, Bagmati, Maithighar, and Tripureswor to board his vehicle, the driver looks out for rival buses. In the competition to snatch passengers, mirco-bus drivers often race with each other on crowded streets and stop vehicles diagonally to prevent rival buses passing them and grabbing passengers from the next crowded station.

KMC Chief Executive Officer Yadav Prasad Koirala said, “This is a trial run. Once we apply the new rule, it would help reduce the unwanted traffic jams in the metropolis. We will soon apply this rule at other bus stations as well.”

The new drive will be implemented in collaboration with the Traffic Police, Department of Roads (DoA) and Department of Transport Management (ToMD).

Speaking to the Post, Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya said, this drive is a step forward to make Kathmandu a traffic jam free city  The metropolis will be deploying its City Police, while the traffic police will monitor public vehicles if they halt for a long time. Metropolitan Traffic Police Division Spokesperson Jay Raj Sapkota said the traffic police have started a week-long monitoring work to make the task more efficient.

“We are trying to make a note of public vehicles which operate on busy roads,” said Sapkota.  A five-member working committee has been formed under KMC to execute the plan successfully.

Town planners have welcomed the move, but questioned whether the new plan would last long.

“This is a good move.  This will really help to reduce the traffic jams and give great relief to commuters,” said Kishor Thapa former government secretary experienced in urban planning. “The measure must be implemented at least for a year; both the drivers and passengers should get habituated to it for the smooth implementation.”

According to the MTPD, around 1.17 million public vehicles operate in the Kathmandu Valley daily. Of these 13,343 are mini-busses with less than 20 seats, 12,617 are large buses with over 35 seats, 3,802 micros buses, and 2,528 tempos or three-wheelers. 

Published: 06-12-2018 08:23

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