Nepal | November 30, 2020

Archaeology dept halts Rani Pokhari reconstruction

Ujjwal Satyal
Share Now:

Men working at the reconstruction site of historical Rani Pokhari, in Kathmandu, on Monday, December 25, 2017. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, December 27

The Department of Archaeology today told Kathmandu Metropolitan City to immediately halt reconstruction of Rani Pokhari, claiming that KMC was not following the blueprint approved by the department.

“I told KMC officials over phone to stop construction work,” DoA Director General Bhes Narayan Dahal told THT. “Construction work was being carried out against the approved design,” Dahal said.

DoA’s official letter to KMC, however, could not be printed and delivered ‘because the printers were out of order’, according to officials.

Though DoA claimed that work being carried out at the pond was against the blueprint approved by the department, it has not disclosed the approved blue print.

The only blueprint made available by DoA has no signature or seal of the department.

A letter issued by the DoA on January 5, 2016, shows that it had asked KMC to remove food stall, amphitheatre, pavilion and pump house from the blue print. DoA, however, refused to share other documents related to reconstruction of the pond.

Divisional Engineer of DoA Sampad Ghimire said the under-construction concrete shear wall at Rani Pokhari was the foundation of the amphitheatre, which would be built later. Ghimire said KMC had proposed to build an amphitheatre with 400 seats.

Asked why DoA approved the plan to construct additional structures and use concrete to rebuild the temple inside the pond, Ghimire said, “We cannot always ask for a detailed blueprint. Sometimes, we are required to approve designs on the basis of policy-level decisions.”

Ghimire said use of concrete or modern materials were allowed in heritage sites if done discretely. “We do not have to make a fuss over the use of concrete so early. The International NARA convention on heritage conservation has given us permission to use modern materials if it is necessary to protect the heritage.” Ghimire said.

Chief of Department of Physical Development and Construction at KMC Uttar Kumar Regmi, an official responsible for drawing the blueprint, declined to comment saying he was  ill.

Sailesh Shakya, one of the leading local activists staging protest against the undergoing construction of Rani Pokhari, on the other hand, said they would go on hunger strike if their demand to scrap KMC’s reconstruction plan is not implemented. He added they would file a case against KMC and DoA at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Thursday.

Dispute over Rani Pokhari reconstruction started when locals and conservationists started a protest against the construction of the pond using concrete and modern material. Some historians and archaeologists are arguing reconstruction model adopted by KMC would turn the historic pond into an amusement pool, destroying the rich legacy of Kathmandu valley civilization.

READ ALSO:


A version of this article appears in print on December 28, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

National Covid-19 tally reaches 231,978 on Sunday with 1255 fresh infections

KATHMANDU: The countrywide Covid-19 tally reached 231,978 as 1255 additional infections emerged on Sunday. The capital hosts the highest amount of active cases which, on an average, reports half of the daily reported live infections. Likewise, 1404 people who were earlier infected with the vir Read More...

25 more fatalities registered today; Covid-19 death-toll advances to 1,479

KATHMANDU: Twenty-five more fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours with which Nepal’s Covid-19 death-tally has now advanced to 1,479. Meanwhile, 1,255 fresh coronavirus cases as reported today took the nationwide coronavirus case count to 231,978. Over 1.4 million deaths from the dis Read More...

Kathmandu Valley records 548 new cases on Sunday

KATHMANDU: The three districts of Kathmandu Valley reported a total of 548 new cases of coronavirus infection on Sunday. Of the new cases, 244 are females and 304 are males. As many as 422 cases were recorded in Kathmandu district while Lalitpur and Bhaktapur reported 61 and 65 cases respectiv Read More...

Smith hits second straight ton as Australia post 389-4 vs India

SYDNEY: Steve Smith led an imperious display from Australia's top-order batsmen with his second straight century as the hosts piled on a massive 389 for four against India's listless bowlers in the second one-day international in Sydney on Sunday. The match followed a script similar to Fr Read More...

Chinese Defence Minister calls on PM Oli

KATHMANDU: Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe has called on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at the latter's official residence in Baluwatar. The State Councilor and Defence Minister of China arrived here this morning on a one day official visit. Fenghe had asserted that his short visit to Ne Read More...

Bayern made to sweat for 3-1 win at Stuttgart

STUTTGART: Kingsley Coman scored one goal and set up another as Bayern Munich came from a goal down to beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday and stay top of the Bundesliga. It was the seventh consecutive game that Bayern, who face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next week, conceded a goa Read More...

Liverpool held, City on fire and Everton lose again

LONDON: Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton after conceding a VAR-inspired stoppage-time penalty while Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick in Manchester City's 5-0 crushing of Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday. Carlo Ancelotti's Everton suffered their fourth defeat in five games aft Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 62.06 million, death toll at 1,450,479

LONDON: More than 62.06 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,450,479​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December Read More...