By Keshab Raj Paudel, Kathmandu, Oct. 22: With the starting of the Dashain festival, a total of 152,638 public vehicles have exited the Kathmandu Valley from September 17 to October 20, revealed the data provided by Traffic Police.
At the same time, around 620,089 people entered the Valley via 153,610 vehicles.
In the previous years, around three million people used to leave the Valley during the Dashain season.
With the end of nationwide lockdown implemented to curb the novel coronavirus, the number of people entering the Valley has increased from mid-September.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Bhim Dhakal, of Metropolitan Traffic Police Division said that the number of people exiting and entering the Kathmandu Valley was almost equal during the month of Ashoj. "In recent times, the number of vehicles leaving the Valley have been increasing," said SSP Dhakal.
Of the 1.5 million people who were anticipated to depart from the Valley with the beginning of Navaratri, only 300,000 people have left till now. "As many had returned to their hometown on March right after the nationwide lockdown was implemented to curb the novel coronavirus, the number of people leaving the valley might have decreased," said SSP Dhakal.
Meanwhile, Rabi Rimal, deputy general secretary of National Transportation Association Nepal, said, "In comparison to the previous years, not even two per cent of the passengers have commuted via public vehicle this year."
The Bus Park, from where millions of people used to return to their homes during Dashain, has been stranded, he added.
"In the previous years over 300 buses used to leave the valley for Sudurpaschim daily. But this year, it is being difficult for us to operate even 15 buses," said Rimal.
He added that around three million people used to travel in public buses during the previous years. "This year, the number has decreased to 300,000," Rimal said.