Police units still operating from tents

Kathmandu, December 4

One-and-a-half years since the April 25 earthquake, many police personnel across the country are still carrying out their duties from makeshift tents. These include personnel stationed in Kathmandu.

According to Nepal Police statistics, as many as 891 units were destroyed or damaged throughout the country in the earthquake. Over 193 units, which were destroyed, have slim chances of recovery soon.

NP Headquarters has estimated the cost of reconstructing destroyed units at around Rs 5.76 billion. Similarly, it is expected to cost approximately Rs 280.6 million for repair and retrofitting of the damaged structures. However, the government has allocated only Rs 610.9 million till date for this purpose.

Officials said the budget received from the government were provided to 152 damaged units.

At least 87 police units are operating from tents and temporary sheds. Of them, 13 are in Kathmandu Valley, eight in eastern region, 50 in central region and 16 in western region. Similarly, 65 police units have been either set up in government buildings or in rented houses.

The Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu and the Metropolitan Police Crime Division have been delivering service from a building of National Trading Ltd and a party palace at Teku.

DIGP Hemant Malla Thakuri, also the spokesperson for Nepal Police, said, “It is very shocking that many police personnel are still in what look like refugee camps one-and-a-half years after the earthquake.”

A police official at the MPR expressed concern about the problems facing security personnel. “Security personnel are living under constant security threat. I don’t know how long the government will continue to put us in this state,” he lamented.

Nearly 318 police units damaged by earthquakes have come into operation after repair.

With the onset of second winter after the earthquake, Nepal Police has requested the Ministry of Home Affairs to do needful for the rehabilitation of the displaced police units before late.