Traffic police allocate Rs 4.1m for breathalysersMetropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) has allocated Rs4.1 million to purchase 36 sophisticated breathalysers and a calibration machine. The machines will be purchased within the next three months, says MTPD.
Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) has allocated Rs4.1 million to purchase 36 sophisticated breathalysers and a calibration machine. The machines will be purchased within the next three months, says MTPD.
Talking to the Post, Chief of MTPD SSP Basanta Kumar Panta said the division will open the bidding process to purchase the new breathalysers in a month and a half. The MTPD will be purchasing modern breathalysers that can print slips stating the alcohol intake of a driver.
Currently, because of a lack of breathalysers, in almost all the checking posts in the valley, traffic police have been compelled to smell the rider’s mouth to check if drivers have consumed alcohol. Doctors have been warning that this practice is very unhygienic for both the officer and the rider.
“Traffic police will get new breathalysers with two years of warranty. We will also get a calibration machine so that we will not need to send defunct machines to China for repair,” said Panta.
Only this week, the MTPD has sent four machines to China for repair work, as Nepal does not have a calibration machine and skilled manpower to fix them. Officials at the MTPD said that they have been sending machines for repair work in China time and again. As per the data of MTPD, out of the 71 breathalysers that are being used in different offices in the Valley, 23 of them, which are at the division’s office, and are not working.
When the Post visited the Thapathali Traffic Police Section, on Wednesday, it was found that out of the division’s five machines, none of them were in a working condition. The same was the condition in the Metropolitan Traffic Police Range in Koteshwor and other offices in the Valley. Traffic police on duty have been saying that the machines they are currently using have become just a showpiece. “Most of the machines we have were gifted by various organisations and they are not in workable conditions right now,” said Panta. “Now we are using our own funds so that we can purchase machines with a warranty,” said Panta. He said the division office has already deployed its staffs to collect the defunct machines.
In 2014, the MTPD had acquired 18 sophisticated breathalysers with a total investment of Rs2.4 million. Today, more than half of the machines are not in workable condition.
Since the anti-drunk campaign was launched in 2011, the traffic police have booked 285, 0015 drunk drivers so far, and raised Rs280 million as revenue. Those booked for drunk-driving have to pay Rs1,000 and attend an hour-long class. Traffic data shows that since the MaPaSe drive was launched in 2011, the number of critical road injuries has come down by 60 percent and the number of fatalities by six percent.