Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 30:

The Department of Archaeology (DoA) today prohibited the construction of supermarket in front of the ancient Ashoka Stupa at Lagankhel, saying that it is a monument zone and the construction will affect the serenity of the Stupa and encroach a historic pond, which is almost dry at present. The locals had appealed to different institutions to halt the construction work, which was being carried out by the Namuna Machhindra High School. The School had claimed that the pond area belongs to it. The historic pond at the area is almost dry now.

"We have prohibited the construction of the supermarket. We have concluded that the area is a monument zone and the construction will affect the serenity of the Stupa," said Chandra Prasad Tripathi, acting director-general, DoA.

He said that a committee had been formed to investigate into the historical and cultural values of the pond as well as the surrounding area, adding that the construction will not be allowed till the committee comes up with the report. The department has already corresponded with the District Administration Office of Lalitpur for further proceedings.

Former mayor of Latitpur Sub-Metropolitan City, Buddhi Raj Bajracharya, said that it was an irresponsible act of the government officers, who acted as mayor and ward chairmen during the 15-month period. "The building permission was given by the executive offier when the elected representatives were absent. It could mean lots of things."Bajracharya, who also is the president of the Patan Buddhist Monastery Association, said that construction of any building that affects the serenity of the Buddhist monument must be probhibited.