Published On: August 3, 2017 12:54 PM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

Unruly parking rampant at Pokhara bus stops

Unruly parking rampant at Pokhara bus stops

POKHARA: The bus stops meant for passengers to get on and off vehicles aren’t being used in the approved manner now-a-days in Pokhara. The local bus stops are slowly turning into a place for parking private vehicles.

The Traffic Police of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City have assigned a total of 22 bus stops across the city. However, workers of various private organizations have been using these bus stops to park their private vehicles for the whole day.

Even though the bus stops along the main roads are designed to allow a two-way vehicular movement, private vehicles can be seen parked on both the sides of the roads.

“Private vehicles have taken over the bus stops assigned for public busses and micros,” said Bishwo Raj Adhiakri, Chief Inspector of Kaski Traffic Police. “It often gets bothersome for us to move these vehicles out of the bus stops,” said Adhikari.

Because private vehicles are parked in the bus stops, drivers of public vehicles have started to stop their vehicles in the middle of the road to load and unload passengers, stated Adhikari. The metropolitan traffic police have failed to curb the issue despite stringent action against those who park private vehicles at bus stops.

The traffic police are planning to impose ‘chain-locking’ system to bring the problem of rampant parking under control.  Adhikari said they left the first offenders with a warning while second time offenders had to face music. “We take action against 10-12 people every day, but the problem doesn’t seem to go away,” he said.

Private vehicles can be seen parked along the roads from Sabhagriha to New road, which covers about two kilometers distance. The area comprises various business organizations, banks and other financial institutions. The workers from these offices and visitors to these organizations park their vehicles at the bus stops.

According to Adhikari, people who park their vehicles are fined from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500. Targeting offenders, the traffic police have also put up restriction and stop signs at the bus stops. “People complain that the bus stops are narrow and congested, but that’s not true. The parked private vehicles make the bus stops look crammed. If it weren’t for the parked vehicles, bus stops here are fairly spacious,” said Adhikari.

He also stated that the bus stops weren’t being properly used as passengers would stop public vehicles anywhere they want as per their convenience. “The passengers also tend to get on and off public vehicles at random places. They don’t really care about the bus stops. Due to narrow roads and lack of private parking areas, traffic management has become complicated in Pokhara,” he said.

Amrit Sharma, chancellor of Pokhara Bus Company, stated that though the government had built bus stops, it had failed to properly manage them. “The bus stops have turned into a parking place for private vehicles. There is no space left to stop public vehicle. And that’s why we aren’t able to stop our vehicles on the assigned places,” Sharma said.

He also attributed the problem to numerous vehicles plying through a single main road and scores of public vehicles halting at the same stop at once. “If the traffic police could manage to move the parked private vehicles out of the bus stops, we’d be able to halt our buses at the designated stops. This could also lead to reducing traffic congestion in the city,” Sharma said.

“Moreover, passengers mostly intend and request to get on and off the vehicles in front of their homes. This could be due to the lack of awareness, but then the drivers are required to halt the vehicles at any random places,” added Sharma.

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