Rule breach still a common sight on Capital’s roads

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 30, 2015-

Despite traffic police claiming to have scaled up scrutiny of rule violations in Kathmandu Valley, sights of more than two people riding pillion on motorcycles and small vehicles carrying passengers on the roof were all too common until Tuesday.

Having relaxed the traffic rules for over three months in view of the acute fuel shortage, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division had vowed to keep tab on traffic rule violators following the rise in the number of vehicles plying the city roads. A total of 148 vehicles were even fined for violating traffic rules on Monday.

But in lack of alternatives, commuters and vehicle operators continue to disregard traffic rules. The government’s failure to ensure the smooth supply of fuel has forced most vehicles off the road. The Nepal Oil Corporation has been rationing diesel to public vehicles while private vehicles have to wait for occasional distributions of fuel from the state-owned petroleum supplier.

Nevertheless, a relative ease in vehicular traffic at border points has led to the increase in fuel imports has brought more public vehicles back to the roads, while the thriving black market is pumping fuel to motorbikes and private vehicles.

“Currently, 75 percent of private and 60 percent of public vehicles are operating on the streets,” spokesman at MTPD SP Posh Raj Pokharel said, referring to traffic statistics. That was a considerable rise on last month’s figures when only 35 percent of total vehicles were plying the Valley roads.

“Safety of public cannot be compromised forever. Small vehicles like micro and mini buses have flimsy roofs and cannot support heavy loads,” Pokharel said, adding that big buses, however, would be let to carry people on the roof for the time being.

But one traffic police on duty on Ring Road said that despite instruction from the MTPD to check on traffic rule violations, he has been ignoring such incidences. “How can I ask people to get off the bus roof when they have to reach places on time but have no option?” he asked, requesting anonimity. “Most of the commuters in public vehicles are students and jobholders and they are always in rush.”

Published: 30-12-2015 09:03

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