KMC undecided on demolition of quake-damaged Bagh Durbar

Kathmandu, December 15

Though the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has already started moving its office from Bagh Durbar to District Coordination Committee building in Babarmahal, demolition of the quake-damaged Bagh Durbar has yet to begin.

The Department of Archeology has warned KMC not to demolish the historical Bagh Durbar.

KMC officials said they were holding discussion with the stakeholders as well as DoA on the matter.

Information officer at the KMC Basanta Acharya said, “We have put on hold the process of demolishing Bagh Durbar until we reach an agreement. However, KMC office will be moved completely to the DCC building in a month.” He said education, health and agriculture divisions of KMC had already been shifted to the DCC building and preparation was on to move other divisions.

Amid differences with DoA over demolition of Bagh Durbar, KMC had made public the design of the new Bagh Durbar in October this year. As per the design, the new building will have three separate parts with different architectural designs.

The first part, which will be a three-storey building, will retain the architectural design of Bagh Durbar. The second part, which will be a six-storey building, will follow Lichchhavi-era architecture, while the third part will be built in the design of a 15-storeys tower. The new KMC office building will also have a room for emergency treatment of service-seekers. KMC said the new facility would have disabled-friendly structures. More than 200 employees work at KMC office.

Earlier, KMC was set to start demolition of Bagh Durbar building from November 17. Bagh Durbar, where KMC officials work, was damaged by the 2015 earthquakes and marked unsafe for living.

According to KMC, Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya’s first decision as KMC mayor was to reconstruct Bagh Durbar, which housed the metropolis’ building.

KMC had also conducted a study to see if Bagh Durbar could be used after retrofitting. The study showed that the historical building could not be retrofitted as it had sustained severe damage. Yet another study claimed that Bagh Durbar building was constructed after 1933 and hence was not 100 years old, which meant that it could be demolished for reconstruction.