Commuters have their concerns over the new ‘pick-up and drop’ schedule meant for the public vehicles that came in force from last December 16.
The new provision brought into practice as per the decision of the Kathmandu Metropolis has been helpful to some extent in addressing the issue of heavy traffic congestion in the Kathmandu Valley’s core area, it has caused inconvenience to passengers as the routes fixed for picking and dropping the passengers are relatively in a gap of longer distance.
The programme implemented in the Tundikhel, Bhadrakali, Ratnapark and Martyrs’ Gate areas in the first phase came without public information.
Sita Sharma who travels from Balaju to her Bhadrakali-based office says the new route schedule came as a problem in her case. In the past, she would get off at Bhadrakali for the office and it was really a convenient for her. But with the implementation of the new schedule, she has to either walk up to the office from Jamal or from the route known as the NAC as it is adjacent to the office of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC). She faces more difficulty to take a public vehicle back to home in the evening.
Prior to the enforcement of the new system, public vehicles were allowed to pick and drop off passengers at the Bhrikutimandap area which was relatively comfortable for commuters.
Sanotosh Poudel a regular traveler from Bhaktapur to Kathmandu viewed that if the new system was for the service of people, it is more troublesome for them. The previous system was relatively better than of present as commuters could take vehicles in shorter routes.
Kathmandu Metropolitan Office spokesperson Ishwor Man Dangol defended the new system and said it had been really helpful in the proper management of the traffic in the area and such system is being implemented in other areas as well. Passengers were forced to wait for long to get a vehicle for their destinations due to the problem of heavy traffic jam.
Apparently ignoring concerns of passengers, the KMC said they would get gradually used to this new system. “The system is for the facilitation of passengers themselves, who get trouble in long waiting for a vehicle to get on to their destination, and pedestrians are also affected by vehicles haphazardly picking up and dropping passengers,” it said.
The drive of removing pick up and drop stations from certain areas is bearing fruit, thus helping deal with traffic jams in Jamal, Tripureshwor-Sundhara, Ratnapark and Bhotahitti, some of the places famous for traffic congestion, the KMC claimed.
However, commuters have a different story to tell. They are facing recurrent problems like a chance of missing a public vehicle to areas like Banepa, Bhaktapur, Nagdhunga and Chovar as a result of failure to designate a few more stations for public vehicles, and allow them to make a stop for a bit long time.
The KMC’s new pick up and drop campaign has added to their woes. “I often face problems in catching a public vehicle between Nagdhunga and New Road as the number of vehicles between the route is a few and due to limited bus stations. If KMC wants to control traffic jams, it should expand the campaign all across the Valley,” said Manju Kandel, a regular commuter between Nagdhunga and New Road. (RSS)