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KATHMANDU: Nearly 1 million people have left the Kathmandu Valley in the past one month.
The large exodus of people is for the Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath festivals. The exit of people from the Valley primarily begins from the Ghatasthapana (the first day of the 10-day Dashain festival) which was observed on October 7 this time. This figure is likely to go up ahead, said transport entrepreneurs.
Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE) general secretary Saroj Sitaula said the number of people going home for Dashain this year is estimated to be double that of the previous year. The figure is estimated to hit 1,200 thousand till the eve of Vijayadashami that falls on October 15.
Until two years ago, 2.5 million people would head home from the Kathmandu Valley for the Dashain celebrations and this number had significantly dropped with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 400-500 thousand people were estimated to have left the Valley during last year’s Dashain. Though this year the figure is higher than the previous one, it is still far less than of Dashain during the usual time.
Until the day of Vijayadashami, the Valley sees the large exodus of people and it starts welcoming returnees thereafter and arrangements should be made accordingly. Presently, vehicles are returning empty to the Valley by dropping passengers at their destinations.
Help desks have been set up at different locations for the convenience of passengers.