Rani Pokhari gets new life

Kathmandu, May 12:

Following efforts of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), the ailing Rani Pokhari has now started regaining its former glory.

Rainfall in the past few days and water being emptied into the pond by the Public Gardens and City Hall Management Department (PGCHMD) of the KMC have done wonders for this historical pond.

“We have been pouring six tankers of water everyday in the pond for the past two months, except on days when the government imposed curfew,” Sahadev Shrestha, head of the PGCHMD said.

A reason for the decline in the water level in the pond, according to Shrestha, may be the construction of a mosque’s extension nearby. “When the construction of the Sanchaya Kosh building disturbed the flow of water at Sundhara, it is possible that the construction of underground structures of the mosque could have absorbed the water of the Rani Pokhari,” he said, adding that the problem was seen only in the last four years.

Even Tibetan women, after witnessing the fish in the pond dying, had poured some 70 tankers of water in the pond.

The KMC also cleaned the bed of the pond with the help of boats when the water was shallow.

“Experts from the Agriculture Hatchery at Balaju sometimes visit Rani Pokhari to check the fish,” he said. Last year, 43 fish had died after the water level decreased in the pond.

Shrestha said the KMC is arranging more water for the pond even during times when there is scarcity of water. He said they harvest rainwater from the nearby buildings, including the Tri-Chandra College, Durbar High School and the Valley Police Office.

The KMC is also pouring pumped underground water collected at the open theatre in the pond. According to Shrestha, the pond would be filled for the next six days.

King Pratap Malla had constructed the Rani Pokhari in memory of his son Chakrawartendra Malla in the year 1727 BS. The Pokhari is also considered the Taj Mahal of Nepal.