Despite assurances of the government to make Nepal's roads safe for travelers, road accidents are continuing to make chilling news stories. The news is no longer an internal issue. As the number of foreigners visiting Nepal has increased, these accidents are having an impact beyond our borders.
After a bus accident in Ranipauwa, Trishuli, killed a few Israeli tourists in October, a recent accident in Jogimara that killed four South Korean tourists has sent a negative message abroad.
Four South Korean tourists along with their driver were killed in a bus crash in central Nepal, according to police. Another South Korean and 15 others were injured in the crash, which happened as the tourists were returning to the capital, Kathmandu, from the popular tourist town of Pokhara, said police officer Prakash Malla.
This is the first time such a large number of South Korean tourists died in a fatal accident in Nepal. At a time when Nepal is promoting itself as a destination for the foreign tourists, the accident has sent a negative picture of Nepal among the Korean tourists. The government needs to be serious to prevent these fatal accidents.
The ill-fated minibus was apparently overtaking another vehicle on the road and hit a larger vehicle coming from the opposite direction at Dhadhing, about 70 kilometres (43 miles) from Kathmandu, the officer said.
"Three South Korean tourists and the microbus bus driver died on the spot. Two other South Koreans were injured and were taken to Kathmandu, but one died while in treatment," said Malla.
Deadly crashes are relatively common in Nepal because of poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving. With a huge interest of people in Korea to visit Nepal, this kind of accident will definitely send them a wrong message.
Last November, 47 people died when an overcrowded bus plunged into a river in the country`s west.
The bus with registration number Lu 1 Kha 8593 heading for Kapilvastu from Kathmandu hit a microbus with registration number Ba 1 Pa 1028 heading to Kathmandu from Pokhara.
The deceased have been identified as Chhang Bok Hee (Passport number 29800632), Noh Yon Deuk (58996019), Cho Young Ja (77076229) and Lee Song Young-Jr (3453982) of Korea and Roshan Bhusal, microbus driver of Goldhunga, Kathmandu, according to District Police Office of Dhading.
A total of 16 injured, including Kimnamkyu DG (Passport number 1286978) of Korea are undergoing treatment, informed DSP Prakash Malla, who is also the DPO's chief. According to DSP Malla, the micro bus driver in trying to overtake a truck ended up with his vehicle colliding with a bus.
Whatever the cost the government may need to pay, it must take strong steps to prevent such fatal accidents in the future.