Department of Roads wants to use airport land to ease traffic congestion at KoteshworThe civil aviation ministry has agreed to provide land for a two-lane road on the Koteshwor-Jadibuti section and a one-lane road near Jadibuti, officials say.
In a bid to rid the Koteshwor-Jadibuti section of traffic congestion, the Department of Roads and Department of Transport Management has lobbied with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to use land belonging to the Tribhuvan International Airport to widen the road.
If the proposal goes through traffic snarls in the area will be reduced by 60 percent, officials at the Department of Transport Management said.
The Koteshwor road sees serpentine lines of traffic every day as commuters travel between Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. According to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, an estimated 971,000 vehicles pass through the Koteshwor crossing every day between 8am and 6pm.
“The transportation minister and the civil aviation minister have talked about the proposal, and the civil aviation ministry has agreed to provide the airport’s land for road expansion from Koteshwor to Jadibuti,” said Shiva Hari Sapkota, spokesperson for the Department of Roads.
According to Sapkota, the civil aviation ministry has agreed to provide land for a two-lane road in the southern section of the present road on the Koteshwor-Jadibuti section and for a one-lane road near Jadibuti. He said the footpath and drainage on the northern part of the road will become a part of the expanded road and the remaining space will be converted into a footpath.
“I myself suffer because of this jam as I live in Radhe Radhe. We are planning to open this section in six months,” said Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general at the Department of Transport Management.
Additionally, the Department of Roads is also planning to make it compulsory for vehicles heading to Lalitpur from Bhaktapur to take the Manohara river corridor.
“We have already opened a one-kilometre corridor from Jadibuti to Balkumari. Once it is tarred, vehicles heading to Lalitpur from Jadibuti will be diverted from there, and this will contribute towards reducing the traffic jam,” added Sapkota. He further said the roads department is upgrading the Manohara road corridor up to Balkhu.