City, traffic police fail to enforce four-wheeler ban at New RoadAuthorities, however, haven’t given up and say the ban will be effective from today.
In a bid to make Dashain shopping hassle-free, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, in coordination with the Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office, on Saturday announced to ban the entry of four wheelers inside the New Road area. However, their implementation seems largely neglected.
Saturday and Sunday witnessed a massive footfall in the New Road area, which is known as Kathmandu’s shopping district, with four wheelers were allowed to enter from the New Road gate. This greatly inconvenienced Dashain shoppers in the area.
“When the City and traffic police made such an announcement, we were happy, but they could not implement their own decision,” said Ganapatli Lal Shrestha, a heritage conservationist and resident of Basantapur.
The authorities had announced to bar four-wheelers including private cars, taxis and cargo vehicles beyond the New Road gate. By barring them from Mahabaudha, Bhotahity and Indrachowk areas, they were preparing to send the vehicles to Khula Manch for parking.
According to traffic police, Khula Manch, which earlier served as a temporary bus park, can accommodate around 300 four-wheelers and over 1,500 two wheelers.
“Authorities, however, have not stopped any vehicles entering from New Road,” said Shrestha. If only the city had deployed its police, in coordination with traffic police, the drive could have been a success.
From Saturday onwards, hordes of people are flocking to mobile shops, clothing stores, utensil and electronic shops in New Road, Mahabaudha, Indrachowk, Ason, Jamal. People were visibly frustrated at the chaos.
“I visited New Road for shopping and hanging out with my friends on Saturday, but the authorities had not stopped any four wheelers. The area was in a total mess,” said Prabha Thapa, 23, a bachelor level student who stays in New Baneshwar.
“The problem with our authorities is that they make an announcement that sounds good but they lag in implementation,” said Thapa.
Senior Superintendent Rajendra Prasad Bhatta, also the spokesperson for Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office, said the new rule was not mandatory.
Nabin Manandhar, spokesperson for the City, contradicts the traffic police. He said the metropolis has strictly banned four-wheelers from going into New Road.
“Four-wheelers coming from the inner city may have come to New Road. There is no restriction for vehicles carrying the sick or the elderly even as we have banned four-wheelers in general,” said Manandhar.
He said from Ghatasthapana (Monday) onwards, they will strictly enforce the rule.