Traffic guidance goes manual as lights malfunction in Nepali capital

11:21, June 09, 2011      

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All traffic intersection lights in the capital city of Kathmandu, except for the new one, are malfunctioning thanks to years of power cuts, local media reported on Thursday.

"We are manually policing traffic movement in the capital these days as all traffic lights barring the one at Koteshwar need repair or perhaps replacement," said Deputy Inspector General of Police Bigyan Raj Sharma, who heads the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.

"Over 600 of our men are policing traffic on the streets of the capital every day with no lights to assist them. If traffic policing could go electronic, we could free half of them for regular policing assignments and traffic movement would be way smoother than what it is," Sharma was quoted by Republica daily as saying.

Drivers can easily miss or pretend to miss hand signals of traffic police personnel and this can upset road traffic flow. On the other hand, there is no excuse for missing the conspicuous traffic light signals. "That would lead to less road indiscipline and smoother traffic flow," said Sharma.

According to the report, the majority of the traffic lights in the capital were built during times when power cuts was not a daily reality. The oldest existing lights were installed almost 20 years ago, according to the Department of Roads.

Six years ago, solar panels were set up to power traffic lights in some places in the capital. But there is no maintenance work and the panels stopped working.

Source: Xinhua
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