Kathmandu Metropolitan City has provided an additional grant of Rs 10 million for the reconstruction of iconic Kasthamandap, which was severely damaged in the 2015 earthquakes.

A user committee has been carrying out the reconstruction of the historic monument in its original design. KMC has so far provided a total of Rs 110 million to Kasthamandap Reconstruction Steering Committee, said KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya. He assured the committee of providing grants as required. According to KRSC, over 90 per cent of recovery and rehabilitation work of the cultural heritage has been completed till date.

The reconstruction work of Kasthmandap had started in February 2019. A series of post-disaster surveys and rescue excavations recently conducted by a collaborative team of international and national experts from the Department of Archaeology had focused on Kasthamandap at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square. Rajesh Shakya, KRSC chairperson, said the reconstruction could cost a total of Rs 120 million.

"We have completed 90 per cent of work thus far. It got a bit delay due to recent prohibitory orders imposed by local administration to curb the spread of COVID-19. The shortage of suitable wood was also a reason for delay. Now, we have resolved the problem of wood. Timbers have been brought from various district, including Rautahat," he informed.

Shakya said the KRSC would prepare for inauguration of Kasthamandap as soon as possible.

Earlier, the reconstruction of the historical structure was scheduled to be completed by mid-April. But various problems such as the COVID-19 pandemic, shortage of wood and a few technical problems affected the scheduled work and the deadline. Reconstruction work had been carried out by maintaining necessary safety measures even during the lockdowns imposed by the government.

Timber Corporation of Nepal has agreed to provide 17,000 cubic feet timber for the purpose of reconstruction of the three-storey monument made up of wood. Only 10-15 per cent timber used in the original structure was reusable.

According to KMC, the roof of the monument will be covered with traditional claymade tiles. The reconstruction of Kasthamandap, which means 'wood pavilion', needed specially prepared timber.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 10, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.