DoA tells KMC not to implement building code at heritage sites

Kathmandu, October 10

The Department of Archaeology has issued a letter to Kathmandu Metropolitan City and five other government bodies not to implement the new building code, which allows construction of buildings with two-storey basement and taller than 65 feet, in the preserved monument sub-zones.

The DoA has also asked KMC to implement the rule as per the Ancient Monument Preservation Act 1956.

The act does not allow construction of buildings taller than 35 feet in preserved monument sub-zones. The act also does not allow construction of buildings with basement of any kind in such zones.

The Basic Standards on Settlement Development, Urban Planning and Building Construction for systematic urban development, endorsed by the Cabinet on August 30, 2015, however, allows construction of only five-storey buildings not taller than 45 feet in preserved monument sub-zones.

Activists and locals from heritage sites like Basantapur had been protesting the new building code as it would undermine ancient heritage monuments in Kathmandu Valley.

Activist Ganapati Lal Shrestha said, “The letter sent by the DoA to Kathmandu Metropolitan City has given us a glimmer of hope that heritage monuments will be preserved.”