Traffic jam again in Kathmandu

Strict checking and confusion over who is allowed on the road and when has brought traffic jams to Nepal’s capital

Even though the lockdown is still in effect with only designated economic activities allowed, people in Kathmandu have been venturing out creating traffic jams at police checkpoints at major intersections in the capital on Sunday.

The government had announced that vehicles with passes could only be on the roads only at certain times from Sunday. It has also allowed government offices, the banking sector, essential services, and vehicles carrying construction equipment stipulated times of day to be on the roads.

Traffic jam at the New Road intersection on Tundikhel on Sunday in Kathmandu at 10am. All photos: MANISH PAUDEL

Confusion over who is allowed and at what times created the traffic jam at the intersections.

Officially the rule says that civil servants and others working in designated official services are allowed to commute from home to office at 9-10AM and return from 5-6PM. Banking sector and essential service employees are allocated 9-10AM and 3:30-5pm.

Vehicles carrying food, water and other essential items have to finish their travel before 10am. Cargo trucks and tippers carrying construction material can be on the roads only from 8pm till 6am. Similarly, food trucks are only allowed from 4-10am.

All offices and workplaces that are open have to follow physical distancing and mask wearing guidelines.