Officials yet to implement safety suggestions for Kalanki-Koteshwor roadTwo years after the safety audit report was submitted, officials are still not implementing the recommendations fully. Pedestrians and other road users still find themselves in danger.
Nearly two years after commissioning a ‘safety audit,’ of the Kalanki-Koteshwor road section, the Department of Roads has come up with a plan to add only a handful of road infrastructures on the road that has seen numerous accidents and lives lost.
The audit, conducted in February 2019 by traffic expert Padma Bahadur Shahi, had recommended that traffic lights be installed at around a dozen locations on the 10.5km stretches constructed with Chinese aid.
“The department is planning to install six traffic lights at major intersections such as Koteshwor, Satdobato, and Mahalaxmisthan. Two traffic lights will be built in Balkhu and one in Kalanki, said Krishna Nath Ojha, chief of traffic section under the department.
Ojha said that the new lights will be up and running on the road section in the next five months
The audit report pointed out over a dozen technical faults that need to be corrected on the “killer road” section, built with a budget of Rs5.13 billion. The audit also suggested the installation of traffic signals in 213 places along the entire road stretch. Areas that are in dire need of traffic lights are also pointed out in the report—Balkumari, Gwarko, Satdobato, Chapagaun Dobato, Mahalaxmisthan, Ekantakuna, Nakkhu, Manohara bridge, Kalanki, Dhobighat, Sanepa Chowk, and Khasibazar area.
“This is the most accident-prone area in the city—most of the accidents are taking place due to faulty road infrastructure,” said Superintendent Shyam Krishna Adhikari of traffic police.
Everyday commuters, mostly pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists, are scared to use the road on which vehicles speed up past speed limits.
“With our special request, street lamps have been installed in a few accident-prone areas such as Satdobato, Gwarko, and in front of B&B Hospital. But other road sections are forced into darkness at night,” said Adhikari.
“We have time and again requested the concerned authorities to add infrastructures but they do not heed our calls. When an accident takes place they blame traffic police,” said Adhikari.
The report also suggested that intersections in Balkhu, Nakhu, Dhobighat, Khasi Bazar, Mahalaxmisthan, and Chapagaun Dobato be improved. But nothing has been done two years after the audit report was submitted.
“It’s always risky to cross the road at Mahalaxmisthan. The intersection is so confusing that you feel you will be hit by a vehicle,” said Bharat Sharma, 33, a resident of Kusunti.
The overhead bridges on the road are also insufficient, pedestrians complain. “Although there are a few overhead bridges, they are not adequate,” said Sharma.
“I would like to request the government to install traffic lights, street lamps, and mark adequate zebra crossings. The traffic police also need to punish rule violators.”