NRA gearing up to rebuild Dharahara on its own

Kathmandu, December 1

The Nepal Reconstruction Authority (NRA) — the apex body leading the post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation works — has been authorised to reconstruct the structure of iconic Dharahara on its own.

NRA Spokesperson Yam Lal Bhoosal informed The Himalayan Times that the Cabinet recently wrote a letter to NRA authorising it to initiate reconstruction of Dharahara, one of Kathmandu’s iconic landmarks that had collapsed in the devastating earthquake of 2015.

More than two-and-a-half-years since its collapse, reconstruction works of Dharahara are yet to begin. Uncertainty over reconstruction of Dharahara deepened further after NT, in the first week of September, stepped back from its earlier plan to rebuild the monument.

NT had expressed its unwillingness to rebuild Dharahara citing basically two reasons — the refusal of the government to let NT rebuild the monument as per its own design, and obstructions created by local cultural communities to rebuilding Dharahara as per the design proposed by DoA.

On the other hand, DoA had been rigid on its design of Dharahara stating that allowing NT to go ahead as per its own plan and design might destroy the archaeological value of the historical monument.

However, NT had clarified that it is not backtracking from its earlier commitment to contribute almost Rs one billion for Dharahara’s reconstruction.

The 225-feet Dharahara, also known as Bhimsen Tower, was built by then prime minister Bhimsen Thapa in 1825 for military use as a watchtower. It was partially damaged by the earthquake of 1934 and collapsed fully during the earthquake in 2015.

The government plans to reconstruct the iconic monument in tribute to those who died in the quake by inscribing their names in the new structure.