Kathmandu, September 9
Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya today told the contractor company and workers to accelerate the reconstruction of Dharahara.
He also pledged to provide necessary help from his side and ensured that they would not have to face any obstacles. Visiting the construction site today, Mayor Shakya asked workers to complete the construction work of the iconic tower as soon as possible.
National Reconstruction Authority has taken the responsibility of building the 89.6112 metres tall modern tower. The original 18-storey Dharahara was built by the prime minister of Nepal Bhimsen Thapa in 1825. It was destroyed in the massive earthquake of 1934 and later rebuilt. Mayor Shakya’s statement has come amidst conservationist’s demand that the heritage trail in Dharahara area be kept intact. They have also demanded that the historic Sundhara (golden spout) located there be preserved.
Only a few days ago, locals of Kathmandu had obstructed work at the Dharahara construction site after they faced difficulties dragging a wooden pole (lingo) brought from Bhaktapur district, for the Indra Jatra festival due to encroachment of the heritage trail that passes from Dharahara area. The trail is used by locals for cultural processions taken out during various jatras
The dispute between locals and workers was resolved after Ward Chair of Kathmandu Metropolitan City-22 Chin Kaji Maharjan instructed workers to clear the passage. The locals, however, are still not assured that the heritage trail will be kept intact.
Ganapati Lal Shrestha, a local activist, said, “The dispute has been resolved for the moment, but we want assurance from the government that we will get free access to the path even after completion of the project.”
The new Dharahara project will cover an area of 22 ropani — acquiring around 15 ropani land of the General Post Office and additional three ropani of Sundhara and a few other plots owned by Guthi Sansthan there.
A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.