Kathmandu, October 23
Kathmandu Metropolitan City is preparing to demolish Bagh Durbar building from November 17 this year.
Bagh Durbar, where KMC officials work, has been in operation since long. It was damaged by the earthquakes of 2015 and tagged with a red sticker marking it as unsafe.
According to KMC, after completion of the tender process it is currently evaluating the received applications. Joint-spokesperson at KMC Nama Raj Dhakal said KMC has set the date for commencing the demolition — November 17 — allocating more than three weeks for evaluation and other remaining tasks of the procedure.
“We have a plan to start demolishing Bagh Durbar building from November 17 after completing evaluation and few remaining works related the process before demolition work begins.” Dhakal told The Himalayan Times, “Before November 17, we much shift to the District Coordination Committee building at Babarmahal.”
He said the tender amount for the demolition task would be Rs 32.4 million. With this, preparations for demolishing Bagh Durbar building and process for setting up offices has also been expedited.
According to KMC, the first decision Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya took after swearing in on May 31 this year was to construct or reconstruct all earthquake damaged municipal buildings. After that KMC conducted a study to ensure whether or not Bagh Durbar could be retrofitted.
Latest study report submitted to KMC in August this year clearly stated that Bagh Durbar could not be retrofitted as it had sustained huge damage.
It is said the new proposed building will be constructed within three years, but as it is the initial phase, designing and cost estimation are yet to be finalised.
Currently, the KMC office is being operated from the premises of the damaged Bagh Durbar building where more than 200 staffers work daily. KMC had demanded two flats at the DCC building, but the DCC agreed to give only one flat for official use until a new building was built on the premises of Bagh Durbar.
Earlier, KMC and the Department of Archaeology had expressed the view that Bagh Durbar should not be demolished due to its archaeological value.
However, with the fresh study report that stated that the Bagh Durbar building was constructed after 1933 and was not more than 100 years old, KMC decided to demolish the building without consulting the DoA.
Bagh Durbar is located west of Tundikhel. The palace was initially the property of Amar Singh Thapa and his descendants, but was later occupied by the royal families, until it was handed over to the government. After the 2015 earthquake damaged the building, KMC office was shifted to Teku and City Hall.
A version of this article appears in print on October 24, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.