Many quake-hit police posts in Makwanpur still operating from tentsAccording to the District Police Office, a total of 17 police post buildings were damaged by the earthquakes of 2015.
For the past four years, police constables at the Simbhanjyang police post in Makwanpur have been spending their nights under a tent. The tent is worn-out with years of use. Monsoons and winters are the hardest since the tent does not hold rain or keep the cold out.
The weather has turned for the worse in the last few days across the country and working under the tent in such harsh conditions is becoming a task, say the police constables manning the post.
“The rain that has been falling since Thursday has been disturbing us. Even our kitchen is flooded with rainwater,” said Suman Dhakal, head constable. “It’s been days since we’ve had sound sleep and good food.”
Simabhanjyang, where the police post is based, is one of the district’s remotest areas. In winter, the area sees a lot of snowfall, a huge problem for the policemen, said Dhakal.
The building for the post was brought down by the earthquakes of 2015 after which it is still being rebuilt.
“We don’t even have a place to bring the culprits in for questioning,” Dhakal said. Currently, six police constables are staying under the decrepit tent.
Other police posts across the region, such as Thingana, Bharta, Kandrang, Faakhel and Dadakharka, also face the same crisis—a lack of a proper building. Some of the police posts have been moved to the offices of their respective local units while others are operating out of rented flats.
SP Sushil Singh Rathore of Makwanpur Police said the police constables have had to provide security battling with the crisis of limited resources, and in Simbhanjyang’s case, a lack of a decent place to spend the night. Even though the provincial government has allocated budgets for seven buildings to house police posts, all of them are currently under construction.
Moreover, the district is reeling under a shortage of human resources. The District Police Office, Makwanpur, has 669 policemen under its wing, which Rathore said is not enough to provide security. “Going by the number, one police constable has to provide security to 655 people on an average,” Rathore said. “We have notified the government about the crisis of residence and resources.”
According to the District Police Office, Makwanpur, a total of 17 police post buildings were damaged by the earthquakes. Of them, six were completely damaged and 11 sustained partial damage. Six are currently undergoing construction while the work on other buildings is yet to start.
In Simbhanjyang, however, the police have had trouble acquiring the lands, for the previous building was constructed on public land, according to Rathore.
Mayor of Thaha Municipality, Labasher Bista, said his office is seeking to acquire a plot of land. “We know a building for police post is necessary in Simbhanjyang,” he said. “We are currently searching for a plot of in a proper location.”