The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has approved short-term action plan for traffic management inside the Kathmandu valley.
As per the action plan, the Department of Roads (DoR) and Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) have installed and operated traffic lights in Baneshwor, Singha Durbar, Gaushala, Maharajgunj, Kalimati, Tinkune Padmodayamod, Putalisadak, Bagbazaar, Old Baneshwor and Mitrapark.
The DoR and MTPD will also install additional pedestrian lights in busy thoroughfares of the valley. The action plan has assigned Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, DoR and other municipalities to maintain road cracks and fix potholes.
The DoR will expand service lane on the left side of Koteshwor-Jadibuti road section to reduce traffic congestion in the area, besides constructing overhead bridge at appropriate locations, the action plan reads.
Bishnumati, Bagmati, Dhobikola, Manohara corridors will be managed to avoid traffic congestion. Nepal Oil Corporation and fuel tankers operators have been told not to supply petrol or diesel to fuel stations (petrol pumps) from 7:00am to 8:00pm for the purpose of reducing traffic jam.
Pick-up and drop-off points will be designated for public vehicles, while making it mandatory for school vehicles to enter their respective compound with 9:00am, the action plan reads.
Concerned metropolitan cities will have to collect waste within 8:30 am. Railings will be constructed on either side of busy roads, besides marking zebra-crossing.
The action plan also envisages setting up a CCTV control room in MTPD to monitor traffic.
Portable overhead bridge will be installed at Koteshwor Chowk, Minbahwan, New Baneshwor, Babarmahal, Ramshahpath, Tripureshor, Kalimati Chowk, Airport Chowk, Thapathali Chowk and Chabahil Chowk within June.
The government will also adopt ‘zero tolerance’ policy against traffic rule violators, according to the action plan.
Traffic management has turned to be a daunting task as roads in Kathmandu lack enough sidewalks and overhead bridges for pedestrians.
As many as 254 persons were killed in road accidents in the valley in 2018- 19 compared to 194 in the previous fiscal. Around 33 per cent of the victims were pedestrians.
Road network of the valley has been extended from 1,319km in 1995 to 1,596km in 2016, which is a mere 20 per cent increase in the past 20 years.