Nepal | August 07, 2020

KMC launches Bagh Durbar reconstruction

Thomas Bogaty
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Basantapur palace

A view of partially damaged Basantapur palace, a UNESCO world heritage site, and residents taking refuge in makeshift tents on Monday when Durbar Square was reopened for tourists. Photo: Naresh Shrestha/ THT

Kathmandu, August 15

Kathmandu Metropolitan City has taken initial steps to reconstruct Bagh Durbar at Sundhara. The palace had suffered damage in the April 25 earthquake.

A team comprising architects and structural engineers, led by Chief of the Department of Physical Development and Construction at KMC Uttar Kumar Regmi, has been assessing damage to the building. The team has also been carrying out feasibility studies keeping in mind the technical, geological, financial, environment, and architectural aspects.

Rudra Singh Tamang, Chief Executive Officer at KMC, said the team will come up with layout and design of the building on the basis of its historical architecture. “Sketching and planning the layout as well as design of the historic building is tedious and requires expertise. It will take at least three months for the team to develop the overall layout and design,” he said.He added that Japan International Cooperation Agency, Nepal, would assist in reconstructing the building jointly with KMC. KMC is in the process of handing over the rebuilding work to JICA under a turnkey project of JICA. “JICA can rebuild within 15 months whereas KMC will take at least three years,” said Tamang.

Demolition work of the damaged building will start by next January after the completion of damage assessments and layout design. The reconstruction work is expected to begin from April.

About Rs 50 million has been allocated for reconstruction of Bagh Durbar that housed KMC office before the quake. “The building will be reconstructed without transforming its original architecture, form, shape, and structure that embodies neoclassical architecture,” Tamang said adding that the Department of Archaeology would monitor the reconstruction work.

After the historical building was ravaged in the quake, the office of KMC has been temporarily shifted to City Hall in Pradarshani Marg. Earlier, the palace was reduced to ruins in the 1934 earthquake and was reconstructed by then Prime Minister Juddha Samsher Rana.

A version of this article appears in print on August 16, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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