Published On: August 30, 2018 03:30 AM NPT By: Biken K Dawadi
KATHMANDU, Aug 30: Are you planning a trip to the downtown areas for shopping or other tasks on Thursday? If yes, it is better you reschedule your plan.
Vehicular movement in inner parts of Kathmandu is likely to witness serious snarls almost throughout the day due to VVIP motorcade of the visiting BIMSTEC dignitaries, leaving commuters stuck in traffic jam possibly for hours.
Traffic in inner Kathmandu is likely to be affected well before 8 am as three VVIPs are expected to land in Kathmandu between 8 am to 11 am. Vehicular movement will be obstructed to facilitate their motorcade as the delegates will be escorted to Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his delegation are expected to touch down at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at around 8:30 am. Similarly, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina will be arriving here less than an hour after the arrival of Prime Minister Modi. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his delegation are, likewise, expected to arrive in Kathmandu at around 10:15 am.
Three possible routes have been identified for the movement of these VVIP motorcades from the TIA to their accommodation at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza. Sources claim that the Tinkune-New Baneshwar-Maitighar-Thapathali-Teku-Kalimati route has been decided as the main route, while the alternative routes are Gaushala-Chabahil-Maharajgunj-Gongabu-Sitapaila-Kalanki route and Tinkune-Koteshwar-Satdobato-Balkhu-Kalimati route.
The movement of the top leaders of BIMSTEC member states from Hotel Soaltee to Shital Niwas is expected begin at around noon as they are scheduled to pay courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and attend a luncheon reception organized by President Bhandari at Shital Niwas in their honor at 12:30 in the afternoon. It is likely that the motorcades will be using either Kalimati-Teku-Tripureshwar-Jamal-Lazimpat route or Kalanki-Sitapaila-Gongabu-Maharajgunj route.
The dignitaries are then expected to arrive back to Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza from the presidential palace via one of these two routes to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Fourth BIMSTEC Summit now scheduled for 3 pm.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli is going to host a gala dinner in honor of the leaders of the BIMSTEC member states at Hotel Hyatt Regency in Bauddha from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. It is likely that the VVIP motorcades will be on the designated routes from Hotel Hyatt to Hotel Soaltee between 6 pm to 9:30 pm.
The first ladies of the BIMSTEC member states are also being taken to a tour around various places in Kathmandu Valley including a few destinations in Bhaktapur and Lalitpur on Thursday. This is also likely to affect vehicular movement in the Valley.
In a bid to ease traffic congestion during the BIMSTEC Summit, government has announced holiday for two days for educational institutions and enforced odd-even rule for vehicles in the streets.
Officials at The Metropolitan Police Commissioners' Office said they are trying to make traffic management effective so that the general public do not have to face additional hassles due to VVIP movement.
“The government has declared public holiday on August 30 and 31, and we have the odd-even rule too to our aid,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Manoj Neupane said, adding, “We are confident that we can manage smooth movement of VVIPs throughout the day.”
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