Print Edition - 2014-09-24 | Nation
With overloaded buses comes the risk of accidents
Sep 23, 2014-
Along with the joy of the festive season beginning with Dashain follows the risk of road accidents and traffic hazards. With a surge in the number of people travelling back home, small roads, rash driving and the tendency of carrying passengers beyond the vehicles’ capacity increases the risk of road accidents.
“When the vehicles are packed with passengers both inside and above it, travelling is a nightmare,” said Pabitra GC of Narayan municipality-9. Like GC, Rana Bahadur Shahi travelling from Surkhet to Dailekh bazaar described his journey as horrifying. “The drivers were having a competition as to see who drove fastest to their destinations. I prayed for my life throughout the journey,” Shahi said. Sharing the experience of the bus ride, Shahi said he was lucky to be still alive for the bus he was travelling in almost had a head-on collision with another passenger bus.
While GC and Shahi are among thousands that go through the same terrifying ordeal every year, their loved ones too dread over their ride. Any news of an accident is bound to send a chill down the spine of families waiting for their loved ones.
According to Shahi, passengers’ request to drive slow mostly fell on deaf ears. He urged the government to safeguard the lives of the passengers during long trips.
Although the Dailekh-Surkhet road section is relatively safe throughout the year, the festive season brings in a different experience. The 67 kilometre road that takes around 3 hours is said to be a nightmare to travel during the festive season due to the unhealthy among drivers and sharp turns. The tendency of the transport committee and drivers to cash-in on the occasion by driving fast to save time to make another trip has resulted in scores of accidents over the years.
The Karnali Highway which heads north trailing the south-western part of Dailekh witnesses major accidents every year. According to the police, they are helpless due to limited resources preventing them from keeping vigil on the highway. “While the state itself has been indifferent to the region, it is ludicrous to expect anything from the transport entrepreneurs,” said a police personnel posted at lower Dungeshwor Police Post. Only two traffic police have been assigned for the Dailekh section of the Karnali Highway stretching 136 kms.
Dailekh police chief and Deputy Superintendent of Police Madhav Prasad Shrestha informed that they had enforced a special plan targeting the safety of passengers during the festive season. ”Along with daily patrol, we have already established a traffic post at lower Dungeshwor,” Shrestha said. A help desk is also setup where passengers can register their complaints.
Considering the rush of passengers during the festive season, transport entrepreneurs have decided to each add two new passenger vehicles. Buses belonging to Madhyapaschim, Kakrebihar, Nagarik, and Karnali Transport Committee cater to passengers in Dailekh.
Published: 24-09-2014 09:19