Kalanki-Koteshwor section undergoes road safety audit

- ANUP OJHA, Kathmandu

Feb 13, 2019-

In a bid to control the increasing number of accidents along the eight-lane Kalanki-Koteshwor road section of the Ring Road, the Department of Roads has launched ‘Road Safety Audit’.   

 “We have started the first phase of the audit from Sunday,” said Dip Barahi, a senior divisional engineer at the department.

“There are numerous technical glitches. Our team will submit an audit report within a month and we will work accordingly.”  City planners, traffic police, locals, cyclists and pedestrians have showed widespread concern regarding fatal accidents on the road section due to its ‘faulty design’.

 Rabindra Shrestha, director general of the department, said a team has been formed under Traffic Expert Dr Padma Bahadur Shahai that includes the department’s engineers, representatives of Shanghai Construction Group Co Ltd, road safety experts, Traffic engineers, and civil engineers.

 Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi on January 28 had officially handed over the newly widened 10.5km stretch of the road to the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project.

However, the road section has been deemed a ‘death trap’ due to a lack of zebra crossings, traffic lights, information boards, designated parking stations, median, designated U-turn, and enough pedestrians overpasses.

 The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division’s recent data shows that 12 people were killed and 500 injured along the road section in the past six months. The report also shows that 951 vehicles were damaged in several

accidents.

Meanwhile, cycling enthusiasts have been expressing their concern for not building a separate cycle lane along the road section despite the plan to build one.  According to Barahi, the division will immediately work in installing speed limit boards, plastic safety barriers and zebra crossings in the first phase of the audit.

In the second phase, the department will construct a permanent median, install traffic lights, build overhead bridges and a U-turn, he said.

“We will include the details of our total budget and design of additional infrastructures in our audit report,” said Barahi.

 Within a stretch of 10.5 km, the road section has only five zebra crossings in Koteshwor, Gwarko, Satdobato, Ekantakuna and Balkhu. The department has announced to construct six over-head bridges in Balkumari, Satdobato, Mahalaxmisthan, Ekantakuna, Balkhu Khasibazar, and Sanepa, all within a distance of one kilometre. The Chinese government has already constructed eight bridges and three overhead bridges in Koteshwor, Gwarko, and Bagdole.

 The Traffic Division has been coordinating with the Metropolitan Traffic Police Circle Satdobato to run a week-long traffic awareness drive starting from last week, where it has been distributing leaflets, mobilising volunteers and requesting people to cross the road in groups.

Published: 13-02-2019 11:29

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