KATHMANDU, May 6
It was a regular Saturday morning. There was a lot less traffic on the roads and on-duty traffic police personnel had spread out across the capital to inspect vehicles for drink-driving.
But immediately after a massive earthquake rocked the capital on April 25, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) sprung into action. “Immediately after the first tremor, MTPD formed five sectors and command posts to carry out rescue operation,” said MTPD Spokesperson Superintendent of Police (SP) Posh Raj Pokharel. Each sector is led by a deputy superintendent of police.
As there was a demand for heavy vehicles, the traffic police headquarters immediately made arrangements for 56 heavy vehicles to clear the roads at various places in Kathmandu.
Minor accidents with two wheelers tumbling over on the roads soon became a common sight at Thapathali, Tripureshwar, Sundhara, Nagpokhari, OSCAL College Gate, Hattisar, Kaushaltar and Thankot. There was a similar sight at Gurjudhara, Basantapur, Russian Culture Center, Jamal, Sankhu and Balaju as the earthquake destroyed buildings and cultural heritages.
“We have also been distributing drinking water to quake victims in hundreds of quake-affected areas,” said SP Pokharel.
MTPD immediately made arrangements for 365 water tankers to supply water across the Valley. Since then, the tankers have been distributing water to quake victims living in temporary shelters and other affected areas.
Likewise, they were burdened with additional responsibility after many temporary residents of Kathmandu thronged exit points to head for their home districts following rumors that a more powerful quake was yet to strike the Valley.
MTPD data shows that over 800,000 people left Kathmandu within a week after the earthquake. As many as 55,771 vehicles left the Valley carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers. At the same time, 156,096 people came to Kathmandu, MTPD said.
Sadly, as many as 229 traffic personnel currently deployed in Kathmandu Valley have become homeless. Three of them are on duty round the clock though they have lost their family members in the quake, said Pokharel.
published on 06 May 2015 – Republica