Department of Archaelogy halts Rani Pokhari reconstruction

KATHMANDU: The Department of Archaeology on Monday directed the Kathmandu Metropolitan City to halt the ongoing reconstruction works at the historic Rani Pokhari, claiming the works did not meet set standards.

Further, the Department directed the KMC to demolish the reconstructed structures, informed the Department's Director General Bhesh Narayan Dahal.

The Department has claimed that modern construction materials including cement, sand and aggregates should not have been used in reconstruction of the Bal Gopaleshwor Temple, which lies at the centre of the pond.

The temple had sustained significant damages in the magnitude-7.6 earthquake that had rattled the nation on April 25 last year.

READ ALSO: Rani Pokhari: Rebuilding history

Arjun Kandel, Director of the Worldwide Kandel KN KG JV, the company reconstructing the historic site, however, claimed that concrete was used in the reconstruction as it was used earlier also.

He added that the company had not done anything against the standards and it was ready to furnish evidences of that.

Kandel said his company was expediting the reconstruction so as to complete the task before Bhai Tika of Tihar, when people without their brothers and sisters visit the temple to receive Bhai Tika.

The KMC had assigned the company to reconstruct the centuries-old temple and pond at an investment of Rs 62.9 million. The company said it had spent Rs 15 million so far.

It is believed that the pond and the temple were build by the Malla-era king Pratap Malla in early 1670s.