It’s not just that Air Traffic in Nepal is poor; Nepal’s Road Traffic is also poorly managed. Waking up with news of 42 deaths following a plunge of Passenger bus into the Sunkoshi River at Sindhuli is really heartbreaking. RIP to those departed souls!
Update: The death numbers although reported to 42 and more in the begining has been revised to 41 finally.
The bus (Na 3 Kha 9412), travelling from Sindhuli to the capital city Kathmandu plunged into the Sunkoshi River at Jhagajholi-6, Sindhuli district along the BP Highway killing atleast 42 passengers and injuring 17 others on the board this (Thursday) morning.
A month ago, death of nineteen people with Buddha Air Crash was a hot topic and several questions were raised against the Air Traffic safety in the country. But my concern is, while road accidents as such take place on monthly basis and cost hundreds of lives, why isn’t road traffic safety taken seriously? After all, it’s the same life, no matter if it’s those of expensive aeroplane flying people or cheap local bus travelling people.
Bus carrying passengers more than its capacity and passengers travelling even on the roof of the bus has been reported to be the possible cause of the fatal accident. Nepal roads aren’t that safe and the poor traffic safety laws add to vulnerability. Poor condition of roads, overcrowded means of transport and traffic beyond rules takes hundreds of lives monthly.
In the same context CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal speaking at the Legislature-Parliament today, demanded the government provide relief to the victims of those deceased in the accident. Providing compensation to those affected families may be just one time solution. The government or responsible heads of roads and traffic management should seriously monitor road safety and look for ways to minimize road accidents in long run.
We may have the finest rules but there needs to be serious effort when it comes to implementing those rules. While there already may be rules of passenger not allowed travelling on roof and only limited passengers on certain bus, these rules need to be brought into practice. There are check posts at thousand places along the roads. Only if responsible people at those posts take actions to implement these rules seriously, more than 50% of such accidents would be prevented.
Condolences to the departed souls. RIP!