Kathmandu, March 4
After a three-year hiatus, and expenditure of more than Rs 25 million, reconstruction of Rani Pokhari finally began today.
Rani Pokhari had been completely damaged in the 2015 earthquakes.
National Reconstruction Authority, which had been given the responsibility of rebuilding the pond and a temple at the centre of the pond on January 28, started the reconstruction work formally from today.
Locals also participated in the construction work actively. NRA had formed a community committee to undertake the responsibility of reconstruction work just a few days ago. Some 40 locals, who were also members of the committee, participated in the pond cleaning work.
Speaking at a programme organised to mark the commencement of reconstruction work, Sushil Gyewali, NRA CEO vowed to rebuild the pond using traditional construction materials and temple following the Malla-era design.
Reconstruction of Rani Pokhari was delayed after locals protested the use of modern construction materials for construction of the pond. KMC’s decision to develop the historic pond into a recreational park was also vehemently protested by locals and conservationists.
Reconstruction of the pond was delayed also because of the dispute related to the reconstruction model of Balgopaleswor temple that lies at the centre of the pond. It is believed that Balgopaleshower temple was originally built in Garanthakut design by King Pratap Malla in 1670. The temple was later rebuilt in Gumbaz model following the great earthquake of 1934.
Activists and locals demanded that the temple be built in its original model. The officials of KMC and Department of Archaeology, however, said there were not enough evidences to prove that the temple was originally built in Garnthakut model.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony today, Gyewali said the historical pond would be rebuilt using traditional construction materials, and the temple would be built in its original Malla-era style.
KMC Ward 1 Chair Bharat Lal Shrestha said his office was ready to provide all the necessary support for reconstruction of the historical pond. NRA has also formed a Rani Pokhari reconstruction, monitoring and coordination committee led by NRA executive member Chandra Bahadur Shrestha .
Locals of Kathmandu participating in pond-cleaning to help the reconstruction work of Rani Pokhari, on Monday.
A version of this article appears in print on March 05, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.