Traffic lights installed and repaired at major junctions of Kathmandu ValleyWith the working traffic signals, officials hope to see congestion go down by as much as 40 percent.
Most of the major junctions in Kathmandu Valley now have working traffic lights, thanks to the initiative taken by the local administrations, traffic police and the Department of Roads to install new signals and repair the old ones.
Only on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division in association with Lalitpur Metropolitan City installed new traffic lights in Pulchowk and Hariharbhawan. The traffic signal in front of Alka Hospital was also repaired.
“We now have working traffic lights in 28 junctions of Kathmandu Valley,” said Bamdev Gautam, spokesperson at the division. “Many traffic lights were repaired and installed during the four-month long Covid-19 lockdown.”
In Kathmandu, traffic lights have been installed and repaired at places like Singhadurbar, Anamnagar Chowk, Padmodaya Chowk, Putalisadak, New Baneshwor, Old Baneshwor, Subidhanagar, Gairgaun, Munibhairav, Kalimati, Gaushala, Mitrapark and Narayangopal Chowk.
Traffic lights have also been repaired and installed in Bhaktapur’s Thimi and in Mahapal area in Lalitpur.
“This is a welcome move. I hope the Valley’s traffic congestion problem will be eased to a certain extent with the working traffic lights in place,” said Kamal Sapkota, a 43-year-old taxi driver.
Dhurba Ghimire, a tempo driver, said: “When traffic officers were being used to manage the city’s traffic, there used to be a lot of confusion and snarl-ups for no apparent reason. At least there is a system now. The traffic lights will help the motorists as well as make the job of traffic officers easier.
Meanwhile, the traffic division office is also consulting with the officials of Bhaktapur and Lalitpur metropolitan cities as well as 16 municipalities in the Valley to install more traffic lights.
“We are consulting with the concerned local governments in coordination with the Department of Roads to install traffic lights at busy road intersections,” said SSP Bhim Prasad Dhakal, chief at the division.
“We hope to see less traffic jams on the Valley roads in the future.”
The division office has been deploying around 1,500 traffic police throughout the Valley to manage the traffic flow. Dhakal said the number of traffic officers can be slashed by half once traffic lights have been installed at all major junctions.
Over 90 percent of the existing traffic lights in the Valley had fallen into disrepair for over a decade, which had contributed to unnecessary congestion on roads, particularly during rush hours.
With working traffic lights, officials claim the Valley’s traffic jam could be reduced by 40 percent.