Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Death on the roads of Kathmandu

Do you want to die early? Then use the roads in the Kathmandu valley. Death is very easy to come by with the traffic, pot holes, the uneven surface and the haphazard use of them by the pedestrians.

One of the primary concern are the micro-bus driver who believe themselves to be on the race track who speed over taking you and the next moment jam brakes right in front of you to a grinding halt. Thinking themselves they have the legal rights to do so. At times the driver at the barley manages to stop himself in times to escape death or injuries if he is fortunate.

SDC10019 It is not quite fortunate to use the humble bicycle on the roads here because of the mentality that persists, that the one who is reading it of an inferior being. Only people living from hand to mouth use it. Riding a bicycle in Kathmandu is worse than doing cross country riding. The heavier vehicles try to push you off the roads. The honk or come straight into giving you the fright of your life.

The traffic police are of no use, they seem to be performing their duty at peak hours because this is the time that they are mostly observed. They are more bothered catching drunkard  so that they could fine them as they would get 25% of the share as it is legal. So who would bother about seeing other aspect of traffic management, when I can earn freely from this side. If you try to complain to them about the way you are treated by the motorised vehicle they will just think you crazy. If you death is caused at the hands of any one vehicle, your kins will receive a paltry sum of Rs5,00,000 as compensation and this money is from not the drivers pocket but from the insurances that they make in case this happens because of this, they drive with impunity trying to place the blame on the ones killed.

To be on the safer side it and if you are new to the city it would be advisable to ride with al local in groups. Do not ride alone as they take foreigners as they game. The streets of Kathmandu are not safe for a bicyclist, even though it is the healthiest form of transportation.

Steven William Pitts

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