OKHALDHUNGA, Jan 14: As vehicles and two-wheelers in huge numbers run on the narrow roads of Okhaldhunga, it has been extremely difficult for pedestrians to commute in the market area of the district's headquarters.
The market area of Okhaldhunga have narrow roads. As a result, the region is often jam-packed with vehicles, leaving only a little space for the pedestrians. The areas including Bhairab Tole, Ganesh Chowk, Rambazar and Hulak Dada have narrow roads, and the commuters have been facing the problem for a long time.
Despite the fact that the roads are narrow, street vendors have been operating their businesses on the roads – something that has added to the woes of the commuters. On busy days, motorcycles are often parked on the roads.
Likewise, locals often unload their construction materials on roadsides.
According to Dhan Ram Shrestha, a resident of Siddhicharan Municipality-11, the roads are often congested during peak hours. “During this time, pedestrians have been facing a serious problem to commute in the region,” he said, adding that he also feels unsafe to commute in the region during the peak hours, as the roads don't have separate lanes for pedestrians.
Similarly, Laxmi Baniya, another local, said that she is afraid of commuting on the roads. “Ifear that I would be hit by a vehicle,” she said, adding that the commuters don't reach the destination on time due to traffic jams.
In the meantime, ambulance services, too, have been hit due to the situation of the roads in the market area. Similarly, emergency vehicles like fire trucks and police vehicles, too, are having problems due to the narrow roads, and increasing number of vehicles in the region.
According to Mohan Shrestha, mayor of Siddhicharan Municipality, as there is a bank in the market, service-seekers park their two-wheelers near the bank on the road.
“This has been a major challenge. Also, street vendors have been operating their businesses on the narrow roadsides. This has resulted in traffic congestions in the market area,” he said.
When asked about the plan to reduce traffic congestions in the region, Shrestha said that the municipality is planning to make the roads one-way during the peak hours.
“The municipality will announce the roads as one-way, once the construction of roadway connecting Naya Bazar and Ramailo Dada is completed,” he added.