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Road accidents, a misery in Dashain travels

Published Date : October 16, 2021

KP Lamichhane

KATHMANDU: In recent weeks, the country has witnessed a number of deadly road accidents across the country. In these accidents, scores have lost their lives and a significant amount of loss of property.

According to reports, on Tuesday a bus accident occurred in Chhayanath Rara Municipality-7 of Mugu district, a western high hilly region of Nepal. A total of 32 people, including 10 women, lost their lives in a single accident. Among the dead, 24 died on the spot and others died while undergoing treatment. The bus was heading towards Mugu from Nepalgunj-Surkhet. According to police, the bus Bhe 1 Kha 3167 fell down after tyre puncture in the rough road and the driver could not control the bus. The bus was full of local people and overcrowded, most of them were returning home from India to celebrate Dashain festival. Even 13 others injured and rushed to the local hospitals. Some of the critically injured passengers were brought to Nepalgunj-based hospitals, where five people lost their life while undergoing treatment.

The Chief District Officer at the Mugu informed that the bus was plunged nearly 200 meters down in the steepy hill, and the bus broke down in pieces.

In another major accident, a jeep skidded off the hilly road of Annapurna Rural Municipality-11 of Ghandruk, Kaski on last Monday and fell down nearly 100 meters, killing 8 people on the spot. The jeep was carrying students to the tourist area of Ghandruk. Some of them are still in hospitals for further treatment.

If we see the data from Nepal Police, we may find several other accidents which have claimed many innocent lives. Within a span of seven days of this Dashain festival, 89 people have lost their lives and 753 got injured in the 485 cases of accidents. According to analysis of Nepal Police, there remain four major causes of road accidents in Nepal:

  • Meager state of roads,
  • Lack of regular maintenance of vehicles,
  • High number of passengers, and
  • One driver for a long distance travel.

Most of the accidents happened with the motorcycles. A total of 29 people died with 384 motorcycle accidents. Likewise, 39 people died while 117 people injured with 33 bus accidents across the country. Police says 15 car, 29 jeeps, 20 tractors and 4 trippers met with accidents within a span of past seven days. Generally, nearly seven people die everyday by the road accidents across the country, but such number increases in the Dashain and Tihar festivals, the two main festival in Nepal.

Police says, 114 people died in the 2077 BS Dashain festival last year while 1,236 injured from 856 cases of incidents. In the previous year of 2076 BS, 111 died and 1,010 injured from 700 cases of incidents.

The government had prepared the Nepal Road Safety Action Plan (2013-2020) to reduce the cases of road incidents and minimise the death and critical injuries by 35 to 50 within 2020. The plan incorporates five pillars, like road safety management, Safer Roads and Mobility, Safer Vehicles, Safe Road Users, and Post Crashed Response.

Fiscal Year (BS)Road CrashesDeaths
2069/70                           8,484               1,816
2071/72                           8,406               2,004
2072/73                           9,145               2,006
2073/74                         10,013               2,384
2074/75                         10,178               2,087
2075/76                         13,366               2,779

Despite this, the current statistics show that the number of road accidents is increasing instead of decreasing. The vehicle accidents have caused huge damage to Nepal’s economy, which has also had a negative impact on productivity and growth, the parliamentary study report says. The report have suggested many precautionary and legal mechanisms to control the cases of road accidents, including to completely phase out vehicles of 20 years old, establishing vehicle fitness test center, sending compulsorily all vehicles to certified workshop after 3500 km of travel, carry out road safety audit of the roads.

However, the cases of accidents in Nepal have not reduced but increased. The concerned agencies of Nepal government seems not following the recommendations put forwarded by the Parliamentary Committee.

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