Lack of coordination affects reconstruction work

Kathmandu, December 31

Lack of coordination between Department of Archaeology and Timber Corporation of Nepal has affected reconstruction of heritage monuments.

Although DoA requires 800,000 cubic feet of timber to reconstruct 743 heritage monuments,  TCN has provided only 1,061 cubic feet of timber so far. This would be enough only to reconstruct seven temples.

The Cabinet on February 4, 2016 had asked TCN to provide 800,000 cubic feet of timber for the reconstruction of earthquake-damaged heritage monuments over a period of five years. However, two years on, TCN has provided only 1,061 cubic feet timber till November this year.

Divisional Engineer of DoA Sampad Ghimire accused TCN of supplying small logs that was easily available in the market. “Workers have been saying that they need large logs for reconstruction, but despite our request, TCN not provided us additional timber,” Ghimire said.

TCN General Manager Raju Laudari, on the other hand, said DoA had so far requested timber for reconstruction of only seven heritage monuments. “Collecting timber is a time-consuming process and finding large logs is even more difficult. We need at least three to four months to collect timber once the demand is placed,” GM Laudari said.

Contractors can be seen frequenting these offices to collect timber required for reconstruction.

Sunil Silpakar of NPS Construction, a contractor hired for the reconstruction of Chandeshwori temple in Banepa, said he had come to the department to collect payment.“I was not given payment, saying my company failed to complete the reconstruction task on time. But our work was largely affected as the department could not supply us timber,” Silpakar said.

Programme Director of Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust Rohit Kumar Ranjitkar also demanded that the government provide necessary timber for reconstruction of heritage monuments.

The DoA had requested timbers for reconstruction of Kanak Sundari temple of Jumla; Basantapur Durbar of Kathmandu; Bhairabi temple of Nuwakot; Seto Machindranath, Rato Machhendranath and Khanddevi temples of Ramechhap; and Tahaleshwor temple of Dolakha, according to TCN.