KATHMANDU, Jan 22: Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) will be building only two sky bridges in the capital this fiscal year though it had allocated budget for the construction of three such bridges in order to control the increasing accidents caused by jaywalking and unavailability of safer mediums to cross the roads.
According to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, about 36 percent of the people killed in road accidents in the capital in the last six months of the current fiscal year were pedestrians. Of the 132 people killed in road accidents in the first half of the current fiscal year, 47 were pedestrians. In total, 427 pedestrians have lost their lives in road accidents since fiscal year 2012/13.
KMC Spokesperson Ishwar Man Dangol claimed that the Metropolis is all set to start the feasibility study for the construction of pedestrian bridges at two locations in the capital. “We are currently working on the feasibility studies for building such bridges at the Chabahil intersection and in front of the Department of Archaeology at Maitighar,” he told Republica, “Initially, we had finalized eight locations for constructing pedestrian bridges but now we have decided to build just two of them.”
However, KMC's annual budget has allocated Rs 120 million for the construction of at least three such bridges in the capital by the end of the current fiscal year. According to the working procedure of the metropolis, the construction of the new pedestrian bridges should have started within the second trimester of the current fiscal year.
When asked if the metropolis will be able to start the construction works of at least three pedestrian bridges within the remaining two months of the second trimester, Spokesperson Dangol claimed that the KMC has already planned to start the construction on time. However, he claimed that the metropolis will only be able to construct two such bridges.
“We will have the feasibility report in a month after which, we will issue the tender notice,” he said, “If the tender process is completed in two months, we will be able to start the construction within the set deadline.”
For years, the valley public has been forced to use the unsafe zebra crossings in the capital to cross roads. A recent study has shown that about 60 percent of the zebra crossings in the capital have already faded. Meanwhile, there are only a few pedestrian bridges, the safer means to cross roads, in the capital.
There are nine pedestrian bridges in the metropolis and eight of them are concentrated around Ratna Park. Pedestrian bridges at Sundhara, New Road, Bir Hospital, Ratnapark-Bhotahiti, Jamal, Ratnapark-Bagbazar, Old Bus Park, Bhadrakali are situated in the Ratnapark area while the one at New Bus Park is situated on the ring road. The pedestrian bridges other than the ones at Bhadrakali, New Bus Park and Old Bus Park are in a terrible condition.
Previously, the deputy mayor of KMC, Hari Prabha Khadgi Shrestha had initiated a program to improve the condition of the six pedestrian bridges which are in terrible condition. Spokesperson Dangol said that the deputy mayor has directed the metropolis to immediately start the works for lighting up the bridges and cleaning them. He added that the cleaning up and lighting of the bridges will be completed in a month.