By Nayak Paudel Kathmandu, Oct. 24: The data provided by the Nepal Police shows that this year’s Dashain festival recorded larger number of road accidents and fatalities than the previous ones. The festival was marked from the day of Ghatasthapana on October 7 until the night of Kojagrat Purnima on October 20. During this period, 967 road accidents involving 1,529 vehicles were recorded. A total of 173 individuals died and 1,598 were injured. Mostly two-wheelers (812) followed by four-wheelers (355) and buses (112) were involved in the accidents.
“The number of road accidents alongside fatalities and casualties were higher this Dashain compared to the earlier ones,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Basanta Bahadur Kunwar. During the Dashain of 2020/21, 114 people died and 1,236 were injured in 856 accidents. Similarly, 111 people died and 1,010 were injured in 700 accidents during the Dashain of 2019/20.
Likewise, 129 people died and 857 were injured in 568 accidents in 2018/19; 104 died and 522 were injured in 2017/18; and 101 died and 645 were injured in 2016/17. Two-wheelers followed by four-wheelers were the vehicles mostly involved in road accidents during the Dashain festival of the past six years including the latest one.
SSP Kunwar, who is also the spokesperson for Nepal Police, informed that the poor condition of roads was the major reason behind the accidents. “The condition of roads in Kathmandu has helped reduce risks of accidents but it is not the case outside the Valley. The roads have deteriorated and repair is sluggish,” said SSP Kunwar. Nevertheless, officers argued that the poor road conditions alone wasn’t the reason behind increasing cases of accidents.
“Overspeeding and overloading are other reasons for the accidents as they are common despite the road being in a good shape or not. If vehicle drivers abided by the traffic rules and drove slowly, the cases of accidents would decline,” said SSP Kunwar.