Tourist Police Unit to get 31 more hands

Kathmandu, November 20:

The Council of Ministers has finally approved a proposal of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to add 31 more hands to the Tourist Police Unit to make its service more effective.

According to a source at the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), a meeting of the Council of Ministers held on November 8 decided to increase the police unit’s strength to 38. The meeting decided to add six sub-inspectors, six assistant sub-inspectors, seven head constables and 12 constables to the unit.

In this connection, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has already asked the Police Headquarters to transfer the needed number of police personnel to the unit.

The move comes in line with a report of a seven-member task force formed in January 2004 under the convenorship of a joint-secretary at the Ministry, Shankar Koirala.

Considering the movement of tourists during the night and crimes against them, the ministry had recommended the cabinet to increase the unit’s strength and facilities, Shanker Prasad Pandey, joint-secretary at the NTB, said.

The report had suggested the government to increase the strength of the police unit to 206. However, the ministry decided to add only 31 personnel for the time being, considering financial crunch. “The unit will establish permanent police beats at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Lazimpat and Basantapur. The three police beats will have nine personnel each,” Rajendra Bista, inspector at the Tourist Police Office, said.

He also said that the Unit was also thinking of establishing a permanent beat in Pokhara considering the movement of tourists in the country’s tourist hub. Currently, the police unit is working with the strength of 30 with 23 police personnel on deputations.

“With the added manpower, we will be able to provide effective services and run round-the-clock patrolling in the Valley,” Bista said, adding that the government was taking the issue seriously.