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Queue up for your seat
KATHMANDU, Dec 23: Do you think it is a strange sight when you see that people are queued to get in a bus? Or would you assume it might be a ritual that people follow? The recent move launched by the Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) at selected areas encourages public to stand in a queue in order to get in public vehicles. This move comes after the success of the ‘No Horn’ and ‘Vehicle-free Thamel’ policies.
These days, traffic police personnel can be seen at several bus stations of the capital city during peak hours asking people to stay in line. They cover bus stations at Khusibu, Gaushala, Chabahil, Maharajgunj, New Baneshwar, Koteshwar, Kupandol, Sundhara, Samakhusi and Thimi. The traffic police decided to launch the drive as the bus stations are mostly crowded and an unmanaged horde causes in several accidents.
The campaign was launched on December 17 with the aim to make public transportation systematic as well as accessible for elderly people and persons with disabilities. “We decided to launch the campaign after the success of ‘No Horn’ policy in Kathmandu. The drive has been launched at areas that are mostly crowded. We hope this will help in setting up a system and discipline among the people,” said Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) at Kathmandu MTPD, Sarbendra Khanal.
“Though implementing such a concept would’ve been a challenge, we are optimistic as the public as well as the drivers have cooperated and are fairly following the rules. Students from various schools and scout volunteers have also come to support the campaign and to flow the message in their respective areas,” added DIG Khanal.
At the bus station in NAC, Ratnapark, scout volunteers and school students can be seen with placards that say ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ for separate queues. Spokesperson at the Kathmandu MTPD, Umesh Ranjitkar, said, “Especially elderly citizens and women are benefiting from this campaign. Our aim is to set a discipline among the general public.”
Radha Timalsina, 45, a housewife from Banasthali was spotted standing in a queue at NAC. She said, “Women and children are most vulnerable at crowded bus stations and are prone to harassment and abuse. This campaign prevents unruly behavior. Earlier, people would always be in a hurry to climb on to the vehicles and this caused several accidents, while elderly and differently-abled rarely got seats.ू But now people follow the rules and I am happy that such a campaign has been launched.”
Similarly, Asmita Baral, 23, a nursing student at Kathmandu Model Hospital, also gave positive feedback on the new system. According to her, it is a systematic and productive rule for the public. “As a woman, I feel that this rule has helped us from falling victims to the rampant sexual abuse and harassment at bus stations,” she said.
However, the new system is practiced only in the presence of traffic police personnel. People get back to their old habit of rushing into a moving vehicle if they do not see the volunteers or cops around. This attitude on the public’s part puts the campaign’s success in question.
Hari Prasad Sapkota (56) Butwal-based Businessperson
It is a commendable step by the traffic police. Nevertheless to continue this moment, the public, drivers and traffic police should work in coordination. We should follow the rule sincerely even in the absence of traffic police. And the drivers shouldn’t stop their vehicles at random places. A fine should also be levied on those who fail to follow the rule. In addition, the traffic police should mark each stop so that the passengers can recognize their stop easily.
Bikram Thapa (22) Student
This campaign is beneficial on many levels. Firstly, elderly and differently-abled people will longer face hassles to get on public vehicles and secondly, the drivers and their helpers will only stop the vehicles are the specified stations. I believe we should support this campaign so that the residents of the capital city develop a reputation of being systematic.
Bishal Dangi (16) Student
Well before this campaign, people used to fight and push each other to get inside a bus or a micro. As a result, they’d get injured. But this campaign has made everyone patient and disciplined. Passengers who come first in line can get in the vehicles first and it is a perfect system.
Aambika Neupane (21) Student
I believe that the only government body which is doing its job is the Kathmandu MTPD. Traffic police have been doing their best to make the city’s transportation systematic as well as disciplined. The public have been benefiting from the new rule and I hope the Kathmandu MTPD continues with their effort. I will definitely follow the rule religiously and encourage my friends to do the same.