Constant jams become a commuter’s nightmare

  • koteshwor-bhaktapur road
- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Jul 9, 2017-

Pradip Sharma, who works as a marketing officer at a private company in Teku, had shifted his room to Lokanthali from Dhungedhara, Banasthali last month. But Sharma is now regretting his decision due to chronic traffic congestion in Koteshwor and Jadibuti.    

For the past three weeks now, the road sections in Lokanthali, Jadibuti, Koteshwor and Tinkune have been witnessing traffic jams that would last hours on end. “I have to be at my office by 10am, but I get delayed every day due to traffic conjection,” he said. His salary is based on selling more items roaming various shops in Kathmandu.

Sharma is a case in point. 

Many commuters are facing the problem along the route, as more vehicles are taking detour to the BP Highway (Sindhuli-Bardibas road) to avoid the landslide prone Narayangadh-Muglin road to reach Kathmandu, police said.

The volume of traffic coming in from the Sindhuli-Bardibas has increased by nearly 50 percent over the past couple of weeks, according to the Jagati Police Circle, Bhaktapur, which keeps tab of the traffic movement along the Arniko Highway. 

“Earlier, around 3,500 vehicles used to pass through this way. It has reached nearly 6,800 now,” said Madan Thapa, a traffic constable who keeps the record of passing vehicles at the entry point in Jagati.  

Suman Gautam, who travelled from Jhapa on a bus the same route on Saturday, said he chose the route over the Narayangadh-Muglin for personal safety. “Fearing landslides and long jams in the Narayangadh-Muglin section, I had decided to travel along this road. But a traffic jam at Lokanthali resembles that of one you would normally come across at Thankot,” said Gautam.

Amid constant fear of landslides the traffic volume in the Narayangadh-Muglin section has dropped by over 50 percent, according to traffic police. “Only heavy vehicles and a few public buses ply the road section now. 

The number of private vehicles using the route has decreased by 50 percent,” said Santosh Panta, inspector at the District Traffic Police Office in Chitwan. Panta said a number of vehicles are even using the Tribhuwan Rajpath as an alternative to reach Naubise and some other are following the Pharping and Kulekhani routes.  

Sharma, 33, said he is forced to spare four hours in traffic jams in the Tinkune-Lokanthali strech every day—two hours on each direction. 

Tired of this protracted problem, he has decided to take a U-turn—shifting back to the previous location. “Last week, my son fell sick. I was about to bring him to Civil Hospital at 8am, but stuck in a jam at Jadibuti. I had to take him to a local 

clinic instead, and had to pay the double amount,” said Sharma.   

Sharma is at a loss as to why he has to spare so much time in traffic jams on the same route crossing which was a breeze not so long ago. 

The number of vehicles going out from Thankot has decreased from around 7,000 a day to 3,000 now, confirmed chief of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division DIG Mingmar Lama. He also admitted that traffic jams in the Koteshwor-Jaributi road is worsening by the day. “We are holding a meeting with stakeholders on Sunday to find an alternative to ease the suitation,” Lama said.

Published: 09-07-2017 07:53

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