Nepal | July 14, 2020

Entry to Singha Durbar to be regulated: MoHA

Rewati Sapkota
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Kathmandu, July 10

All 20 ministries, including the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, on Singha Durbar premises, except for the Ministry of Home Affairs, will be prohibited from issuing permits to visitors.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is planning to enforce the new rule ‘very soon’ in view of ‘heightened’ security threat and ‘overcrowding’ on Singha Durbar premises.

“We are planning to implement the new rule under which one-door approach will be adopted for issuance of entry passes, and separate entry and exit gates will be designated for the general public and VIPs/VVIPs,” Indra Jit Rai, security adviser to Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa said, adding, “The existing temporary pass system will be scrapped.”

Currently, all ministries have been issuing entry permit to visitors, who are allowed to visit any ministry they wish to.

Surveillance systems will be installed at all gates of Singha Dubar. “Powerful CCTV cameras and body scanners will be installed at the gates. Suspected individuals will be arrested immediately by security personnel,” Rai said.

Rai also said visitors should deposit their belongings at the gates before entering the premises. “Visitors can only meet the official designated in the entry permit,” he said, adding the number of security posts would be increased.

Lawmakers, former ministers and political leaders should also follow the rules to enter Singha Darbar and ministers’ official residence at Pulchowk. Since entry permits will be issued on the first-come-first-serve basis, visitors will have to wait for their turn to enter the government’s administrative headwaters, according to Rai.

“Because of overcrowding, even secretaries could not meet the ministers to get files signed. Issues of around 60 to 70 per cent visitors can be handled by ministers’ aides, but presently even those people are directly meeting the ministers,” said Rai.

Also, since high-level officials and political leaders are prioritised, those coming from rural areas do not get to meet the ministers and other officials. “They feel humiliated and their genuine issues remain unaddressed,” he said, adding, “So we seek to address these issues through the new security policy.”

As per the planned policy, high-level officials and political leaders will be allowed to meet ministers only at their official residences, while others can meet them in their offices.

According to Rai, Singha Durbar Security Committee led by the MoHA’s Joint Secretary will finalise the rules. “The plan is to have a modern security system at Singha Durbar,” he said.

A version of this article appears in print on July 11, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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