HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Stakeholders told the parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) today that weak implementation of legal provisions, poor infrastructure and policy-level corruption are the main reasons behind the increase in traffic accidents throughout the country.
They were speaking at a discussion with members of a sub-committee formed to collect suggestions to make traffic management more effective. Among the participants were journalists, security personnel, students, bureaucrats, volunteers and lawmakers.
Chief of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Deputy Inspector General of Police Ganesh Raj Rai, said it is wrong on the part of the public to think traffic police is solely responsible for traffic management.
Traffic management can be more effective only when all stakeholders act responsibly, DIG Rai said, pointing that 50 places in the Kathmandu city need traffic lights.
He underscored the need for rigorous checking of vehicles and roads to mitigate accidents.
Advocate Lava Kumar Mainali said traffic management is becoming problematic and road accidents are increasing because of weak enforcement of laws on traffic rule violations.
Secretary at the Local Development Ministry, Shital Babu Regmee, underscored the need to operate means of mass transport like metro or cable car.
The stress should be on operating a public transport system in the city where means of public transport are not available after 8 pm till 5 am, he said. Regmee further pointed that surge in the number of motorcycles has caused traffic congestion. Speaking at the meeting, THT journalist Arjun Bhandari pointed out the need to increase minimum age to be eligible for getting driving licence, pointing that young motorcyclists are more prone to accidents.
Bhandari underlined the need to encourage the import of public vehicles that can accommodate more passengers than microbuses and minibuses. He further emphasised the need to operate shuttle bus services in the city to avoid traffic jam.
Public transporter Nawaraj Ghimire said poorly-maintained roads, encroachment on the right of way and lack of skilled drivers are the main reasons behind the surge in the number of accidents and mismanagement of traffic in the city.
Participants at the programme also stressed the need to establish an academy for traffic police, include traffic study at the school level, enhance relations among traffic police, public and drivers, and introduce a tough regime to govern the issuance of driving licence.
SAC sub-committee is to submit its report on traffic management