Foreign ministry to be housed in Narayanhiti

Shital Niwas ready for Presidential office, Bahadur Bhawan for Vice President

Kathmandu, July 20:

After having decided to locate the Office of the President in Shital Niwas, which used to house the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), a new building inside the Narayanhiti Palace complex has been chosen for the ministry.

“The MoFA will be located inside the Narayanhiti Palace. The ministry will be located from where the erstwhile palace secretariat used to function,” said Health Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel.

Meantime, the cabinet secretariat today said that the protocol of Vice President would be changed after making study of systems and traditions existing in other countries.

Meanwhile, renovation of Shital Niwas was completed today. “A team of workers from the Department of Building Construction and Urban Development (DBCUD) worked round the clock and completed the repair work today,” said Surya Bhakta Sanghachhe, the director general at the department. The Panipokhari-based palace, known for its European-style architecture, has been housing the MoFA till now. He said around 60 people from the DBCUD, including two deputy director generals and senior divisional engineers, were involved in the maintenance work. When asked the total expenditure incurred in repairing, he said that the cost was yet to be calculated.

Also today, the government authorised the DBCUD to repair a building of Shital Niwas meant for the residence of the President. “From today we have formally begun the maintenance work for the residence,” he said. Sangachhe further said the maintenance of the office of the Vice President Parmananda Jha in Badhadur Bhawan in Kantipath has also been completed. “Apart from the Vice President’s office, it was recently decided that a building used by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City in Lazimpat, next to the British Embassy, would be used as his abode. We will start the maintenance work once it is evacuated,” he added.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed secretary of the Office of the President, Dr Ramhari Aryal, assumed his responsibility today. “Though the building is same, it has been redecorated and reveals a new significance,” he said.