Published On: February 19, 2018 12:20 PM NPT By: Kiran Lama

VIP motorcades Yea or Nay?

VIP motorcades Yea or Nay?

Kathmandu being the capital of Nepal, crowded narrow alleys, poor intersection management and hours-long traffic jams are an everyday part of the city. Though hundreds of people fail to reach their destinations on time due to poor traffic management in Kathmandu, the government seems to have turned a deaf ear to the matter. Instead, often roads are blocked and traffic movement is diverted to ease VIP motorcades. There are instances when even emergency vehicles like ambulances are stopped during VIP movements. Such culture has added to the bane of Kathmanduites because they could get stuck on the road anywhere at any time of the day or night.  

It’s highly debated if clearing roads for VIP motorcades is really necessary. It is true that VIPs are important persons of the country because they carry more responsibilities than the ordinary citizens and therefore, they need a special security system for protection. But is blocking the roads for public the only alternative?

My City’s Kiran Lama asked a few people what they thought about this culture and what alternatives could be used to minimize traffic congestion during such situation. 

Mukunda MarasiniDSP at Metropolitan Police Division, Kathmandu  
VIP motorcades are necessary due to security reasons. VIPs like president, prime minister, parliament speaker, and chief justice of Supreme Court need VIP motorcade. Since VIPs live under several threats for being in important positions, the public should cooperate with a brief discomfort. We have more traffic jams during VIP motorcades than in other countries because our road conditions are poor. The lack of overhead bridges and underpasses, I think, is the major problem. However, we’ve been trying to minimize traffic diversions. If anyone wants to know about VIP movement and traffic updates, they can go through Metro Traffic FM 95.6 MHz. This way, people can avoid being stuck on the road during VIP motorcades. They could also call our hotline 103 for traffic related information.

Rekha Bashyal, Teacher
The public shouldn’t be put in trouble in the name of VIP moments because we are the ones who elected the VIPs to higher posts. The VIPs should take care of the public rather than stopping our way just because they have to go somewhere. I think the government is deliberately being indifferent to the issue because they cannot find an alternative. I think traffic police and authorities concerned should work in coordination to smoothly manage traffic congestion.

Bhim Bahadur Phadera, Law student
Well, in my opinion VIP motorcade is necessary for highly ranked people due to security reasons, but it should be managed in a systematic way. The government should reduce the traffic diversion because even ambulances carrying patients can be seen stuck in traffic jams. Moreover, the VIPs shouldn’t misuse the special privilege that’s given to them for personal purposes.

Sarita Shrestha, Businessperson
The traffic congestion in Kathmandu is such that once you get out of your house, you can never be sure if you’ll reach the desired destination on time. Traffic jams can mostly be seen whenever there is VIP movement. This is a serious issue so the government should fix this problem soon by bringing an alternative. Maybe mobilizing more traffic police personnel during VIP moments can help clear traffic congestion quickly.

Basanata Shrestha, Social activist
The law of the nation is supposed to be equal for all citizens, including the VIPs. So in my view, clearing traffic movement for VIP motorcade is not necessary. I understand that they are high rank officials and important individuals for the nation, but ordinary public like us have to face problems due to their privileges. To reduce the traffic congestion during VIP motorcades, the government should alert the public about the traffic diversions beforehand.

vip, motorcades, yea, nay,

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