KATHMANDU, Jan 9: Kamala Khadka, 39, a commuter on public transport on the Jamal-Lainchaur road section has started facing problems catching her bus after the pick-and-drop rule came into effect.
“The new rule has seriously hindered my daily life,” she said, “In addition to having to leave home earlier than usual to catch the bus, I generally do not reach back home on time these days.” She said it is very risky getting into a bus at peak hour as the buses move on immediately after dropping the passengers who want to get down.
Khadka has complained several times to traffic police on duty.
“Sometimes I have to catch a moving bus which is very difficult at my age,” she said. “And I have had to skip some buses because of the crowds scrambling to fight their way in at the same time.”
She suggested that traffic police should implement a queue system for passengers, mainly in the evening when the commuter population explodes.
According to Joseph Kumar Chaudhary, a traffic cop on duty at Sundhara, many passengers are still unaware about the pick-and-drop regime. They ask frequently where the buses stop and try to muscle their way into the bus, which can cause accidents. He also added that the difficulties of catching a bus become acute during the evening commute because of the inadequate number of buses available.
“We frequently receive complaints about lost mobile phones as overcrowded buses are ideal for pickpockets,” he said. He claimed that new system has reduced traffic congestion around the Tudhikhel area.
While launching the pick-and-drop, Kathmandu Mayor Bidya Sundhar Shakya said the metropolitan city would mobilize its own police also for effective implementation of the system. But there were no city police to be seen lending a helping hand to the regular traffic police.
Chief of Metropolitan Traffic Police Office (MTPO) Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Panta acknowledged the problems bus passengers face during peak hour and said, “We are planning a queue rule for getting on the bus, and this will help older commuters also.”
According to MTPO, around 1.17 million public vehicles operate in Kathmandu Valley daily. Traffic police believe that around 36.4 percent of the total number of registered vehicles across the country ply the Valley roads.