Tourist police face manpower crunch


KATHMANDU, NOV 30 - At a time when preparations for tourism year 2011 are ongoing, the tourist police, considered a security lifeline by visitors to the country, is facing a human resource crunch.

"Owing to a lack of manpower, we are facing difficulties in managing all the problems that are coming up with visiting tourists," said Arjun Timalsina, inspector of Tourists Police Department at the Tourism Board. "At present, we are working in coordination with the local police."

According to the Nepal Tourism Board, there are presently 38 tourist police deployed in the Valley to attend to approximately 500,000 tourists who visit Nepal. The tourist police say that at least 600 cases are registered every year, of which approximately 80 percent are cases regarding theft, and robbery. "It's pretty difficult to go through each and every case." Timalsina stated.

Laxman Bhattarai, spokesman for the Ministry for Tourism and Civil Aviation said, "We are working on increasing the number of police personnel. We sent a letter about this issue to the Home Ministry last month, but we haven't gotten a response."

Tourist police were introduced in the Valley over three decades ago with the deploying of seven police personnel.

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