Road office takes lockdown as opportunity to upgrade roads in KathmanduAfter resurfacing nearly 12 km of the city's roads, the road office is currently painting road markings, officials say.
Kathmandu is virtually free of traffic and people due to the lockdown, and the Department of Roads is using this as an opportunity to resurface roads and paint road markings.
Road surface measuring about 12 km was asphalted in the past two weeks, according to the road office.
“We have completed resurfacing the roads while the works to paint road markings are ongoing,” said Kuber Nepali, chief of Kathmandu Division Road Office.
The road office has secured permission from the Kathmandu District Administration Office to deploy its workers in various parts of the city to improve the road conditions.
The office has divided the workers in groups of fives and sevens to paint road markings.
“The workers have been provided with masks, gloves and sanitisers and they have been instructed to maintain a distance of at least three feet while doing their jobs” Nepali told the Post.
The roads department started the works to improve the city’s road conditions during the lockdown at the suggestion of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.
Various road segments measuring nearly 40 km needed to be resurfaced.
Nepali said the road office had completed resurfacing nearly 28 km of the city roads before the lockdown and the remainder 12 km was resurfaced during the lockdown.
So far, the road office has upgraded the road sections in Singhadurbar, Bhadrakali, Ratnapark, Tripureshwor, Teku, Maharajgunj, Baluwatar, Babarmahal, Dhumbarahi, New Baneshwor, Sinamangal, Samakhushi and Tokha.
A Kathmandu Walkability Study-2018, conducted in 35 sections of Kathmandu two years ago had shown that 60 percent of the zebra crossings in the city were faded and 80 percent of the road did not have zebra crossing.
The roads department at the time had said that it did not have funds to paint the zebra crossings and other road markings.
Shiva Hari Sapkota, spokesperson for the Department of the Roads, told the Post that the department was planning to add more zebra crossings and further upgrade the road conditions inside the Kathmandu Valley.
“A well-upgraded and improved road infrastructure will help reduce traffic jams as well as accidents,” SSP Bhim Prasad Dhakal, chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, told the Post.