Traffic lights don’t work in Kathmandu

Most of the traffic lights installed about 10 years ago in 10 different locations in Kathmandu don’t work these days. The problem has caused major headache in traffic management and it has also increased the possibility of accidents in the busy intersections.

Roles and responsibilities of government bodies:

  • Traffic management – Traffic Police
  • Vehicle registration – Department of Transport Management
  • Road construction / Traffic sign, light installation  – Department of Roads


The traffic lights that were installed in 2058 and don’t work properly these days include the ones at the intersection of

  • Naya Baneshowr
  • Maiti Ghar
  • Thapathali
  • Kalimati
  • Singha Durbar
  • Padmodaya Mod
  • Putali Sadak
  • Narayanhiti West Gate
  • Kesharmahal
  • Gaushala

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Air pollution in Nepal

In a 2010 report, Nepal ranked third from the bottom after India and Bangladesh in air quality. The data is a bit dated (from 2009 study and published in 2010), everybody has felt that the pollution level has not improved. With the rapid increase in vehicles in the road and haphazard construction (and destruction) around the city, the pollution level might have even increased in this particular year.


Suspended particulates contribute to acute lower respiratory infections and other diseases such as cancer. Finer particulates (such as PM2.5) lodge deeper in lung tissue, causing greater damage than coarser particulates. Annual average concentrations of greater than 10 micro-­‐grams per cubic meter are known to be injurious to human health.

Problem roots:

  • Air pollution in Nepal’s neighbor, India and China can have pronounced effect on the air pollution in Nepal.
  • In Kathmandu valley – the bowl-shaped valley causes thermal inversion. Thermal inversion forms a layer in the atmosphere, especially in winter season, that traps pollutants by blocking  their natural dispersion.
  • Maintenance and monitoring of vehicles and industries to control pollution. Huge amount of pollution is caused by outdated vehicles and industrial machines.
  • Huge number of vehicles ply in Kathmandu because of the lack of mass transport system like metro railways and regular and reliable bus transits.