RAJBIRAJ, May 5: As many as 52 people died in road accidents in Saptari in the last ten months. The details of District Traffic Police Office (DTPO), Saptari, show that there have been a total of 239 accidents in the district in the last 10 months of the current fiscal year.
According to the police, over speeding, drunken and reckless driving are the most common reasons behind rampant accidents. In fact the details of DTO recorded in last three years show that the rate of accident has been increasing significantly in Saptari. In fiscal year 2015/16, a total of 22 people lost their lives in accidents. The DTPO had recorded altogether 178 accidents that year, according to Sunil Kumar Shrestha, Chief of DTPO. Similarly, in fiscal year 2016/17, DTPO recorded 283 accidents in which 51 people lost their lives. Likewise, in fiscal year 2017/18, the accident rate climbed to 392 killing 70 people.
Police Inspector Shrestha claims that higher flow of vehicles on road, narrow width of highways and unavailability of alternative routes is contributing to the rise in accidents. "Expanding the highways is the first thing that we need to do," said Shrestha, adding, "The number of vehicles is increasing day by day but the condition of roads is still the same." He stressed that the responsible authorities should make efforts to draw the attention of the government towards the narrow and congested roads.
Shrestha also suggested that the transportation management department should think twice before providing route permits to any vehicles and should also make some efforts to formulate certain rules. He informed that the DTPO has been running various kinds of programs in most of the local units with the aim of curbing accidents. "This year alone, we stuck reflecting stickers on more than 250 tractors," Shrestha added. The DTPO has been conducting rallies, awareness programs, distributing pamphlets, demonstrating at schools and interacting with drivers and pedestrians.
While the number of accidents is increasing every year, the graph of revenue is decreasing day by day. In fiscal year 2015/16, the DTPO collected a total revenue of Rs11 million which plunged to Rs 6 million in 2016/17. In fiscal year 2017/18, the DTO has collected revenue of Rs. 10.5 million. As the current fiscal year is also about to end soon, the total revenue of Rs. 10.8 million has been collected so far.