Building code violation worries UNESCO

Kathmandu, December 13

Kathmandu Office of UNESCO has issued a letter to Krishna Maharjan of Maharjan Business Associates Pvt Ltd, which is constructing a commercial complex in Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, urging him to abide by the law and ‘avoid any adverse visual impact to the World Heritage property’.

In a letter addressed to Maharjan, UNESCO said, “Construction is being carried out violating the Ancient Monument Preservation Act 2013, which does not allow construction of underground structures near heritage sites.”

UNESCO expressed its concern as locals have been protesting construction of the commercial complex at the heritage site. Construction of the complex, however, has halted following an order from the Kathmandu Metropolitan City on November 24.

A report prepared by KMC and Kathmandu Valley Development Authority states that the commercial complex has a basement covering its entire land area of 627.98 square metres.  Locals have been demanding that since the basement has put the Malla-era treasury at risk of collapse, it should be filled.

UNESCO office has also sent the letter to Department of Archaeology, Hanumandhoka Durbar Museum Development Committee, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris.