Has the ‘Pick and Drop’ drive really eased city’s traffic?Many say the rule has indeed systematised public transportation in the Capital’s core areas, which has led to less traffic jams.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City's ‘Pick and Drop’ drive, which was introduced nearly eight months ago in Kathmandu, is operating effectively despite receiving various criticism at the beginning, according to authorities and regular commuters.
The City, in coordination with the traffic police division, had first introduced the system near the Tundikhel area, and after successfully implementing the system there, it had later introduced the system in other core city areas like Koteshwor and Kalanki.
Puja Dangal, a BBS student at K&K College, Baneshwor, says she is happy with the implementation of the rule. “Before the drive came into place, buses used to stop at a lot of places and moved only after it got filled with passengers, but now—because of the drive—vehicles pick and drop passengers without wasting much time, which has been great for us,” added Dangal.
Although walking till the new designated bus stops is a little problematic, the overall public transportation system now has become systematic and well-managed, and the traffic police should come up with more ideas like this, suggested Dangal.
Even Tak Prasad Shrestha, 52, who has been riding a tempo for the past 20 years, says the new rule has helped reduce traffic congestion. “The new drive has definitely managed to establish order among public vehicles. Everyone now follows the rule out of fear of having to pay fines, and commuters also wait for the vehicle in the specific place,” Shrestha to the Post. Drivers are subjected to fines of upto Rs 1,000 if found not obeying the rule.
According to Sambhu Singh, a traffic cop on duty at Sundhara, after the rule was implemented improvements are being seen in the area near Tundikhel. “Although duty has now become more strenuous, as we have to blow whistle all the time to warn drivers, the drive has definitely helped ease traffic flow,” said Singh.
To ensure that the rule is being followed, six officers are mobilised in the area during peak traffic hours in the evenings and mornings. During the rest of the day, two officers manage the situation, Singh told the Post.
“We have successfully implemented the system at Koteshwor, Kalanki and near Tundikhel area. The plan is to implement it all along the Ring Road soon,” said Chief of Metropolitan Traffic Police Office (MTPO) Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Panta.
MTPD data shows that around 1.17 million public vehicles operate in the Kathmandu Valley daily. Of these 13,343 are minibuses with less than 20 seats, 12,617 are large buses with over 35 seats, 3,802 micros buses, and 2,528 tempos or three-wheelers.