Pandemic threat affects mobility of people to and from Kathmandu Valley during Dashain

Kathmandu, Oct 30 

The number of people departing and entering Kathmandu valley has dropped notably this year during the Dsahain festival.

According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) chief SSP Bhim Dhakal, the number of entrants and departees decreased significantly this year due to COVID-19 effects. He added that flow of over one million people used to be recorded in such festive seasons in the previous years but about 100 thousand people were recorded exiting and entering Kathmandu Valley this year.

Dhakal further added that about three million people had left for their ancestral homes from Kathmandu and 1.8 million people had returned Kathmandu last year during Dashain period. He said that the pandemic effect adversely affected all, creating fear of infection while organizing get-together therefore a large section of people chose not to leave Kathmandu this year. The record shows that the mobility of the people was recorded lesser in 2015 due to post-quake trauma and again repeated in this year due to corona virus effects. Passenger flow during Dashain last year and this time Two hundred three thousand passengers have entered Kathmandu by 51,594 vehicles during the Dashain period this time as of October 29.

Nearly 300 thousand people left Kathmandu in 58 thousand vehicles during the same period. This figure is very less compared to the previous years. This time, the number of flow of people to and from the Valley is nearly equivalent to the number of vehicles entering and exiting the Valley in the past. In the last fiscal year 2019/20, three million people exited the Valley by 359 thousand vehicles during the Dashain time while one million 835 thousand people entered Kathmandu Valley via 335 thousand vehicles.

Division chief Dhakal said many people left the Valley before Dashain due to the coronavirus pandemic and most of them have not returned due to the fear of the pandemic. He added that many more people might be planning to return to Kathmandu only after celebrating the Tihar and Chhath festivals.

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