Quake-damaged police infra yet to be rebuilt

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu
Data of the Nepal Police Headquarters show that construction of only a few buildings is underway

Apr 20, 2017-Of the 196 buildings of Nepal Police that were destroyed by the earthquake two years ago, not even a single unit has been reconstructed. 

Data of the Nepal Police Headquarters show that construction of only a few buildings is underway. 

Eighty-three police units are being rebuilt and Rs 1.76 billion will be required for that, according to the NP Headquarters. The government so far has released Rs 60 million for the construction 141 police buildings that were destroyed in the quake.

As many as 571 buildings were partially damaged in the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. These partially damaged buildings also need total reconstruction, as they have been fixed using mud and stones, according to officials. 

With new buildings yet to be constructed, police personnel on the ground have been forced to live in temporary shelters--tents and those built with corrugated zinc sheets. This has been creating difficulty for police personnel in keeping their weapons safe. 

For instance, in Nuwakot, tents and makeshift shelters are the police units in Jhikure, Kumare and Samundratar.

“It’s difficult to live in these temporary shelters,” said an official of Jhikure requesting anonymity. 

Data from District Police Office, Nuwakot show that 11 police units were destroyed while six sustained partial damage during the earthquake. 

SP Dev Bahadur Bohora, chief of Nuwakot police, said all of these units are currently functioning under temporary arrangements. “But reconstruction will begin soon,” said Bohora. 

Police units in Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts sustained major damage and destruction during the earthquake. 

District Police Office, Rasuwa, is entirely functioning from makeshift shelters.

According to DIG Krishna Guragain, chief of Technical Directorate of Nepal Police, the delay in releasing the required money has hampered the reconstruction. Guragain said only one fourth of the budget has been released so far. 

“Site visits and design take time. But the delay is entirely due to lack of budget for reconstruction,” said DIG Guragain. 

The NP Headquarters estimates that a total of around Rs 3 billion will be required to rebuild the destroyed facilities.

Some police units which were rebuilt after they were destroyed during the Maoist insurgency also were damaged by the quake. 

A police unit in Khidi Falate of Okhaldhunga was bombed by then rebel Maoists. It was rebuilt later. But the earthquake damaged it again.

As many as 768 police buildings were destroyed by then rebel Maoists during the insurgency. Of them, only 327 infrastructure were rebuilt, with the remaining yet to be reconstructed even more than a decade after the end of the conflict.

Published: 20-04-2017 08:24

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