KATHMANDU, Oct 3: Nearly 1.7 million people have left the Kathmandu Valley for their homes to celebrate the Dashain festival this year. The number is nearly double that of last year. The festival exodus is recorded from the beginning of this month (Asoj) till Fulpati, the seventh day of Dashain.
Only a few people had left the federal capital in the last two years due to COVID-19. Most of those leaving Kathmandu used public vehicles, according to Chairperson of the National Transport Entrepreneurs' Federation, Bijay Swar.
Swar further said still 200,000 people are expected to leave Kathmandu by Dashami. "There are still two days which will witness people's departure for their houses outside the Kathmandu Valley," he added.
Due to the exodus of people during the festival, the problems in transportation like crowded vehicles, overcharging passengers and drivers' hectic duty causing drowsiness are often reported.
Replying to a question whether the passengers were fleeced, Chairperson Swar admitted that those catching the bus in the middle could be charged more than normal fare. He however claimed that some buses were carrying the passengers even at low fare due to high competition.
Not only from the federal capital, those staying in other cities and district headquarters for office and business return to their homes to celebrate the biggest festival Dashain with family reunion.
Although some people enter the Kathmandu Valley, the number is negligible compared to the exit.
As the monsoon has not fully exited this year, the roads have potholes and piles of mud in many places.