Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 4:

Nandi Keshar Bahal is currently serving as a multi-purpose building. Its courtyard and main building houses the Nandi Secondary School which occupies the first floor while the ground floor serves as a residential area for homeless people. Despite its high utility, the structure is on verge of collapse. This 18th century building houses Lord Shiva’s temple in the middle of the courtyard, encircled by mud-mortar buildings with traditionally carved doors and windows. Due to lack of maintenance, the roofs are falling apart, the carved doors and windows have cracked and the stone-paved courtyard is worn out.

Bal Krishna Guragain, the temple’s priest for 27 years, says that due to easy accessibility to the courtyard, the temple’s environment has deteriorated. “Due to no sense of belonging on the part of its dwellers and absence of responsible bodies to take care has resulted in its present state,” Guragain said. He added that the presence of school is ruining the state of the bahal.

Guthi Sansthan is the owner of this bahal, as the actual guthiyaars, the Chautariyas of Basantapur handed it over to the sansthan. Nandi Keshar Bahal has it own property but cannot maintain it. He said that the formation of a committee could help in solving the problem. However, the bahal is also a threat to students, as its roof might fall down any time. The Nandi Secondary School, established in 1954, does not meet the requirements of a school due to the wide mud-mortar walls, low ceilings and narrow width of the rooms. Dipak Kumar Pandey, chief officer planning at the Guthi Sansthan admitted that though the sansthan is the legal owner of the bahal, maintenance was impossible due to budget constraints.