KATHMANDU, April 21; The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD), Baggikhana realized the urgent need for changing the traffic flow in the capital when it went about forming its working procedures. MTPD opted for the working procedures when it saw that the number of deaths in road accidents in the Valley in the first nine months of the current fiscal year topped the number of such deaths for the whole of the previous fiscal year.
There have been 192 road fatalities in the first nine months of Fiscal Year 2018-19 as against 194 such deaths in the whole of Fiscal Year 2017-18. Officials from the division informed Republica that lack of a sufficient number of zebra crossings was one of the major reasons behind the high fatalities.
“There are long stretches of road in the Valley that do not have any zebra crossings,” spokesperson of the division Superintendent of Police (SP) Jaya Ram Sapkota said. “This lack of zebra crossings has increased the frequency of motorists hitting pedestrians.” They realized for instance the need for such crossings on the Chabahil-Maharajgunj section of the ring road.
MTPD turned to the Department of Roads (DoR) for funds to paint the zebra crossings . However, the department informed that it would take months for the tender bid and in any case it was difficult to single out zebra crossings for fund allocations.
Given the urgency of the problem, the division has now started looking for private sponsorship to paint zebra crossing, SP Sapkota said.
DoR's sluggish response may hamper the painting of zebra crossings in other parts of the Valley also, Sapkota said. “Even the existing crossings are in poor shape,” he added.