Only five out of 365 traffic lights working in Kathmandu ValleyHundreds of traffic lights at major intersections of Kathmandu Valley are out of order, exposing pedestrians to accident risks.
Hundreds of traffic lights at major intersections of Kathmandu Valley are out of order, exposing pedestrians to accident risks.
Only five out of 365 traffic lights in the Valley are in working order, according to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Department (MTPD).
The revelation comes at a time when the government is planning to develop Kathmandu into a smart city.
MTPD officials, who are facing hard time in managing traffic, said that delay in fixing the broken traffic lights has not only increased accident risk but also made traffic management troublesome.
The department has accused the Department of Road (DoR) of not repairing the traffic lights despite repeated requests.
“Many traffic lights had stopped working four years ago. We wrote several letters to the DoR, but to no avail,” said Superintendent of Police (SP) Lokendra Malla, the MTPD spokesperson.
According to the MTPD, only five traffic lights between Koteshwor and Bhaktapur section are working. The other lights at major intersections, including Thapathali, Durbarmarg, Tinkune, Putalisadak, Singha Durbar, Tripureshwor and Kalimati, died out a long time ago.
SP Malla said the MTPD has been forced to deploy thrice as many officers at these intersections to manage the daily traffic movement. Around 1,200 officers are deployed daily to manage Kathmandu’s traffic.
“If the traffic lights are repaired, the number of officers deployed for traffic management could be reduced by a large extent” SP Malla said.
Out of order traffic lights have also become a cause of frustration for pedestrians.
Abinash Parajuli, of Tinkune, has to cross the road at Tinkune on a daily basis. As the traffic light there has not been working for a long time, Parajuli said it is frightening to get across.
“You look at the traffic light and you see the red signal is on. It’s very confusing. If you didn’t know that the lights were not working, you could be knocked down by a speeding vehicle,” he said.