As it is, traffic in Kathmandu Valley is already chaotic. Every day, Mr Ishan Shrestha, who lives in Lalitpur and commutes to Durbar Marg has to leave forty five minutes prior to his office time. Mr Shrestha owns a two-wheeler therefore has to only factor a forty five minute travel time. For people using public transport – they would have to add fifteen minutes to half an hour for the same journey.
Traffic situation is already frustrating for several regular commuters in the valley – however, in the past three days, it has worsened. On Monday evening, Mrs Dhakal, who would usually reach her home in Bhaktapur by 6 30 after finishing work at 5:30, was able to reach home only at 7:15 p.m. She learnt about the official visit when stuck in traffic, and for the next four days, she has decided to leave home at least half an hour prior to her usual departure time.
Social media has been ablaze with chaotic scenes of traffic at several junctions as major roads in the valley are kept free to accommodate visiting Chinese VIP officials. Filmmaker Nischal Basnet on Tuesday shared an image on social media which was blocking an ambulance as well – drawing the ire of netizens and questioning the humanity in prioritising VIP visits over someone in need of urgent medical attention.
On the third day of the Chinese People’s Congress Leader Li Zhanshu’s visit to Nepal, the traffic system in Kathmandu Valley continues to remain chaotic. The delegation led by Li, who is visiting Nepal, visited Bhaktapur this morning and will be visiting Sheetal Niwas to meet President Bidhya Devi Bhandari in the afternoon. Commuters are advised to bear in mind that public transport will be affected in the areas at the time.
The Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office issued a notice stating that the traffic will be affected on the road from Kalimati in Kathmandu to Sallaghari in Bhaktapur at nine in the morning and from Kalimati to Maharajganj around 3:30 in the afternoon. The traffic police office has also requested everyone to use alternative roads during these hours.
Owing to this public transportation has also been affected since past two days. On Tuesday, Nepal Police had also stopped the public from walking on the footpath as Li held a meeting at the parliament building in Baneswor.