Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, has said all sides are expected to contribute equally for addressing the heart-wrenching situation caused by road accidents.
Inaugurating the ‘Road Safety and Traffic Awareness Week-2080 BS’, a joint initiation by the Valley Traffic Police Office and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City amidst a programme here today, the Deputy Prime Minister said road safety is not just the concern of traffic police. “It is equally the concern of drivers and others, as well.”
He urged everyone to take responsibility for ensuring safe travel and emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to alleviate the persistent issue of traffic congestion in the Kathmandu Valley.
DPM Shrestha was of the opinion of further systematising the traffic light system, stating that the government was thinking to come up with an additional scheme for the motivation of traffic police.
The Minister was concerned about the significant human casualties and physical damages resulting from road accidents over the past one decade. “The data about road casualties in the past 10 years is alarming.”
He reiterated that it is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to address this situation. He also stressed the need of enhancing road quality, ensuring that vehicles are well-maintained and conditioned, and increasing awareness among drivers and the public to promote road safety and minimize accident rates.
Inspector General of Police, Basanta Kunwar, stressed the need for stronger cooperation between the Nepal Police and relevant authorities to effectively manage traffic system. As he said, factors such as growing urbanization, inadequate road infrastructure, increased traffic flow, human errors, environmental issues, and technical challenges contribute to the rising number of road accidents of late in the country.
Mentioning that the people would not get a relief without the development of public transport in Kathmandu, senior artist Hari Bamsha Acharya stressed the need for the government to invest in public transport for the convenience of general people. He lauded the traffic police for their good management of traffics despite narrow roads, disorderly parking and heavy traffic in the Kathmandu Valley.
Chief District Officer Jitendra Basnet said the traffic management has been chaotic due to failure to designate a safe place for staging a protest. Calling for the concerned authorities to pay attention to construct the international level road infrastructure, he said the role of traffic police is important in reducing road accidents and managing traffics.
Similarly, Basanta Adhikari, chief administrative officer of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, informed that the KMC had set aside Rs 340 million for the improvement of the transport sector in Kathmandu. Every person should pledge to make the road safety effective and reducing road accidents, he emphasised.
Uddhav Prasad Rijal, director general of the Department of Transport Management, stressed the need for creating awareness among drivers and passengers to reduce traffic accidents. The Department was at work in coordination with the provincial and local governments to manage vehicles, he said.
Likewise, Saroj Sitaula, senior vice president of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs, commended the role of traffic police in reducing traffic accidents.
Traffic awareness and training for drivers, transport workers and passengers a must to reduce road accidents, he said emphasising that the government pays attention to improve road infrastructures.
Poshraj Pokharel, Deputy Inspector General of Police, the Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office, said it was not possible to manage traffic with the efforts of the traffic police alone, seeking the cooperation and responsible role of all concerned agencies for road safety and traffic management.