September 25, Kathmandu. Eight people were killed and one injured in a jeep accident at Ghandruk in Kaski district on Monday. According to Kaski police, eight people died on the spot when a jeep (Ga 1 Ja 6900) going from Nayapul in Pokhara to Ghandruk met with an accident.
On Sunday evening, three people, including two people from the same village, were killed after being hit by a jeep near Madikhola. Other people in the jeep were injured.
As Dashain approaches, the pressure of passengers in vehicles has started increasing. In addition, the risk of road accidents also increases.
Though the reasons vary, looking at the past data shows that the number of road accidents has increased in the last decade. There is a danger of accidents not only on highways but also on rural roads. Travelers running to their families and relatives to celebrate Dashain and to reach tourist places during holidays have become victims of accidents.
The government has not been able to take concrete steps to reduce the number of accidents in the coming decade. This year also, the government did not prepare any action plan to prevent road accidents.
Haste, Recklessness and a Dead End
According to security experts, there are two main reasons for the increase in accidents over the decade. This time is considered by the transport businessmen as the season of high earning.
Vehicles carry more passengers than their capacity. Travelers like Gundruk not only have a place to eat, not only to hang on the door, but also to set their feet on the ceiling. Carrying more passengers than capacity is the first cause of accident.
Another reason is the high speed of the vehicle. The same car does the same type of trip over and over again to earn more money. This puts pressure on the driver to return to the destination as quickly as possible and increases the speed of the driver.
Driving for a long time by the same driver is another cause of accidents. When the same driver drives continuously during the night and day, he may fall asleep in the car without getting enough sleep. Some even allow their co-driver to rest for a while. This also increases the risk of accidents.
The government is unable to take any concrete steps to reduce the number of travelers going to their destinations to celebrate Dashain.
Apart from this, there are regular reasons like dilapidated road condition, landslides, measured roads.
The government has directed the driver and co-driver to make arrangements for identity cards, keep the driver on long distance travel and not to keep commercial goods except passengers on the roof. Despite this, effective monitoring of compliance with the rules is not being done.
Rural roads at high risk
The department had appealed to the Home Ministry to make entrepreneurs responsible for safe travel in the decade, to monitor vehicles going to rural areas, not to allow unconditional vehicles and not to carry passengers beyond their seat capacity.
Director General of the department Namraj Ghimire said, “During the discussion in the Prime Minister’s Office, we drew the attention of the Ministry of Home Affairs that the police administration should pay attention to such issues.”
The department is responsible for monitoring the highways and access roads. However, the responsibility of rural roads rests with the respective district administration offices.
Accidents can be reduced if Chief District Officers allow vehicles on rural roads and the condition of the roads is properly monitored. However, no action plan has been prepared at the district level to prevent accidents.
Despite calls for increased surveillance, monitoring and action on rural roads, ‘overloaded’ vehicles remain rampant in rural areas. Although the police have to be active in everything from installing time cards on the highway to changing drivers for long distances, but this has not been possible.
According to the rules, the route for rural roads is given by the district administration offices. However, accidents have increased when buses are allowed to ply without studying the dangerous roads due to bad weather conditions. Government officials allege that passengers and transport businessmen did not fulfill their responsibility.
In Dashain, public transport is under pressure from those going to the market for shopping, going out to return home and coming to their relatives for vaccination.
‘Blind eyes of police’
However, consumer rights activists have concluded that accidents are on the rise due to the aspiration of travelers to reach home and the intention of traders to earn more.
The police and traffic police carry luggage and passengers in a position hanging on the ceiling and hanging on the door as usual during the festival. Although many passengers will not be able to reach their destination due to strictness, but there is no discussion about alternative arrangements.
Consumer activist Ram Bahadur Thapa says that if the traffic violators are not punished in the name of practicality, then the state and police are not aware of the major accident. ‘Traffic nap. He said that as long as the police and administration are not strict, accidents will not happen.
Accidents are also increasing when businessmen are continuously driving the driver for a long time and neglecting the technical inspection of the vehicle.
Transport professionals, on the other hand, attribute the distance to the road. They claim that this problem has arisen due to the lack of attention on the part of the department to fill potholes, install traffic signals and block roads.
“The highways are not in good condition and the condition of rural roads is even worse,” said Saroj Sitola, general secretary of the National Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs.
He has accused the government of escaping its responsibility by holding the businessmen responsible for the accident.
Traffic police concludes that the number of accidents has increased due to drunken driving and overcrowding during the festive season. According to the survey, traffic has been tightened across the country. The traffic police do not have access to rural roads. There is not enough shortage of traffic police at the district headquarters.
In addition, vehicles unfit for driving on highways have been diverted to rural roads. Entrepreneurs are negligent in routine inspection of damaged vehicles. It is not yet known what he will do after leaving office. Co-drivers are driving vehicles, not drivers, on rural roads. There is no one to stop them as there is no traffic police.
Another problem is that vehicles are not added when a large population is moving at the same time. Because of this weak vehicles get overloaded. According to Thapa, this is the reason behind the accident in Dashain.