New traffic chief vows to reduce Valley’s traffic problemsSSP Bhim Prasad Dhakal unveils a work plan that revolves on the themes of engineering, education and enforcement.
The newly appointed traffic police chief, Senior Superintendent of Police Bhim Prasad Dhakal, has vowed to resolve the problem of traffic jam in Kathmandu Valley. He made this announcement Monday while unveiling his work plan to ease traffic gridlocks.
Dhakal's work plan revolves around the themes of engineering, education, and enforcement. Specific areas of focus include smart traffic lights, proactive and inclusive stakeholder education and awareness campaigns, smart traffic police, and stronger law enforcement.
“We are going to review the use of smart traffic lights and work our best to install them in coordination with all the stakeholders such as the Department of Roads, Nepal Electricity Authority, and civic groups,” he said.
Dhakal, who earlier served in the crime division at the Nepal Police headquarters, replaced Basanta Pant as traffic police chief.
Just days into the job and he has promised to tackle the problem that has challenged many of his predecessors.
“I am more serious regarding the jam in Kathmandu and the problem people are facing every day,” said Dhakal.
Replacement and maintenance of traffic lights will be the first order of business for Dhakal’s ambitious plan.
The traffic lights installed at the city’s major intersections with funding from Japan government more than two decades ago are not functioning. Without the lights, the traffic authority has been mobilising around 1,400 officers in the streets of Kathmandu Valley daily to manage the ever-growing traffic volume.
With smart traffic lights, officials say the number of officers currently being deployed to manage the Valley’s traffic could be reduced by nearly half.
Last year, the Department of Roads in association with Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Division had installed smart traffic lights at New Baneshwor and Maharajgunj with a total cost of Rs 4.1 million. Those lights are no longer in operation.
Dhakal said one of his priorities would be to figure out why the lights were not repaired and bring them back in operation.
Negotiating with the Finance Ministry in conjunction with key stakeholders such as the Department of Roads for timely release of funds for the construction of flyovers, traffic lights and zebra crossings is another priority set by Dhakal in his work plan.