KATHMANDU, July 24: These cops on horseback are members of the Mounted Petrol Unit of Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD).
The Mounted Patrol Unit has remained an integral part of MTPD for over four decades. The unit currently has fifteen horses which are deployed in high-traffic areas of Kathmandu including Sundhara, Ratnapark, Koteshwar and Baneshwar twice a day.
Mounted officers are required to undergo 17-month-long horse riding training and an additional three months special patrolling course before joining the unit. The officers themselves look after the horses and train them, apart from discharging the daily patrolling duties.
Despite resource crunch, the Mounted Petrol Unit has proved highly effectiveness in controlling traffic in the capital city. But the government has been spending very little to expand the unit, fueling fears that the mounted traffic squad could soon be a thing of the past.