KATHMANDU: On a Monday morning 21-year-old Shrishti Panta died after being hit by a bus. The accident happened when Shrishti who lived in Sukedhara was going to Chabahil where she studied in Pashupati Campus. A bus plying from the New Bus Park to Bhaktapur numbered BA 4 KHA 5720 struck and killed her on the spot.
A day after her death another accident claimed a life in Chandragiri checkpost. A father going to drop his son to school on his motorbike was struck by an unidentified vehicle. Arjun KC died on the spot while his son his critically injured.
Earlier Lila Devkota was killed by a drunk driver Prithvi Malla in Buddhanilkanta attracting national attention.
These are recent accidents that have been represented in various media outlets. Many in the Kathmandu Valley have had their lives cut short due to such horrendous accidents. If we look at the current financial year, within 5 months 76 people have lost their lives inside the Kathmandu Valley, out of which 60 were male and 16 females.
32 among the dead were pedestrians. 34 were motorcycle and scooter accidents, 3 truck accidents, one car, one cycle, and 5 bus accidents.
Chief of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division and Senior Superintendent Bhim Prasad Dhakal speaking earlier in the month at the Reporters Club said: “most of the accidents happen due to excessive speed and gross negligence on the part of the driver”.
“Pedestrians who cross the road according to their fancy also are a major contributor toward accidents. Vehicle accidents are increasing due to traffic congestion and extremely poor condition of roads. Deaths due to accidents have also been increasing significantly. In these 5 months in the valley alone 9698 accidents have been recorded out of which 3769 have been motorcycle and scooter-related accidents.
740 accidents related to Cars, Jeeps, and Vans, 241 accidents related to Buses, 922 accidents related to Tipper Trucks, 146 Micro Vans, 73 Tempo and 67 Human-powered transport accidents. General Secretary of the Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs Saroj Sitaula says “numerous accidents happen because of negligent pedestrians who avoid using zebra crossings, and the sky bridge. People have to be careful during their morning walks and use the available zebra crossing points or the sky bridge. Another reason is also the lack of more sky bridges and crossings on the streets leading to more accidents” he said.
A committee has been formed under the Joint Secretary at the Prime Minister’s office to look after the condition of the roads in the valley. To manage traffic and fix the numerous potholes are the duties that it has undertaken and currently working on. The government is committed to improving the condition of the roads but this has to come in actions and not merely in words.
In the Kathmandu Valley in the year 2017-2018, there were 198 and in the year 2018-2019, there were 254 individuals who lost their lives to various road accidents. According to the traffic management board, there are 3.3 million vehicles in the entire country, and just in the valley alone, the figure is close to 1 million vehicles plying on the streets.