Central Jail, the oldest prison of the country, at Jagannathdewal in Kathmandu is struggling without enough space. So much so, it is forced to house more than double prisoners than its actual capacity.
At present, it houses 3,448 jailbirds against its capacity of 1,500, according to the prison administrator Ishwori Prasad Pandey.
Established in 1971 BS in 43 ropanis of land, there are three separate blocks (center, Bhadra and women) for female and male prisoners and hard-core criminals. The total jailbirds in the prison include 14 juveniles and 258 foreign nationals.
There are 1,902 inmates in the center section, 1,122 in Bhadra, and 424 in women.
The pressure of inmates in the prison was higher as many criminal activities took place in Kathmandu, the federal capital of the country, said Pandey.
Some new structures added since its establishment in 1971 BS were not enough for the increasing pressure of jailbirds, he added.
For the security of the prison, Dillibazaar prison and Nakkhu prison, a total of 376 police personnel under the leadership of Deputy Superintendent of Police have been mobilised.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kumar Bikram Thapa, who has the responsibility of looking after the security of three prisons including the central jail said with the fixation of CCTVs, they feel more convenient for security management.
At the moment, 250 security people have been mobilised at the central jail followed by 126 in the remaining two.
The Dillibazar jail has 634 inmates and detainees while this number is 1,397 in the Nakkhu jail.
Similarly, the central jail has ensured the medical facility for the dwellers. The jail has a 30-bed facility assisted by six medical specialists. It provides care for skin problems, diabetes, respiratory, lungs and cellulitis and so on.
Bearing in mind the increasing congestion issue in the central jail, the government had on April 3, 2014 decided to shift the central jail to Nuwakot. As per the decision, the construction works go on in Nuwakot. It has the capacity of accommodating 7,000 people while the under-construction regional jail at Jhumka of Banke has the capacity of accommodating 3,000.
As said by the Department of Prison Management, presently there are 74 jails in 72 districts across the country. Kathmandu and Dang each have two jails while Bhaktapur, Bara, Dhanusha, East Nawalparasi and East Rukum do have no prison. The nationwide number of inmates and detainees stands at around 25,000.