Nepal | August 05, 2020

Rani Pokhari reconstuction row turning into political tussle

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Men working at the reconstruction site of historical Rani Pokhari, in Kathmandu, on Monday, December 25, 2017. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, December 25

The dispute over the under-construction Rani Pokhari seems to be turning into a political tussle as stakeholders related to the reconstruction of the historical pond have been airing opposing views.

Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Hari Prabha Khadgi today said she would put in her best effort to stop the ongoing reconstruction of Rani Pokhari. KMC has said it would stick to its plan to complete the project with the use of modern technology.

Speaking at a programme organised by Liveable Kathmandu and Society of Nepalese Architects, Khadgi said, “I was told that reconstruction of Rani Pokhari would be carried out using traditional skills, but I realise now that it was not true. I was kept in the dark. Now I will do everything in my power to halt the work”.

Defence Minister and Member of Parliament from Kathmandu Constituency No 6 Bhimsen Das Pradhan, where the historical site lies, said, “We will not stand KMC’s monopoly and hereby ask the mayor to respect the verdict of the people.” He also called upon people to start a campaign pressing the concerned authority to immediately halt the project.

Minister Pradhan and Deputy Mayor Khadgi were elected to their respective offices from Nepali Congress. Similarly, another Member of the Parliament Gagan Kumar Thapa and the ward Chair Bhai Ram Khadgi, both of whom are also from NC, have supported the campaign.

Despite the protest, KMC does not seem to be in a mood to stop the work. Talking to THT, Spokesperson for KMC Gyanendra Karki said, “There is no logic behind the protest. These people are just an obstacle to the development process and KMC will not give in.”

Karki further said the project is being implemented after a detailed study conducted by engineers of KMC and nobody needed to create fuss about it.

Workers at the construction site were using excavators to dig the mud out and constructing the concrete wall today evening.

Even engineers and hydrologists have divided opinions on whether the reconstruction of the ancient pond should continue. Architectural engineer and cultural historian Sudarshan Raj Tiwari has been lobbying against building concrete structures at the site, arguing that doing so will reduce the historical heritage to a mere swimming pool.

Tiwari is of the opinion that use of traditional black soil and brick embankment will help restore the ancient wells inside the pond. “Rani Pokhari does not only hold the legacy of our rich culture and history but also helps maintain the underground water level.  Therefore we must work to protect the pond in its traditional form,” Tiwari said.

Engineer Ananta Ram Baidya described the idea of using black clay and traditional embankment as an ‘immature, hasty decision’ made by campaigners without adequate study.

“The properties of black soil that the engineers are talking about are hard to find here. In fact, what they are talking about is black cotton soil. It is volcanic soil, which is not found in our country. Black soil is not a good recommendation for embankment construction since it is not good for the surface of the banks of the pond as structures built on it can easily collapse.

Activists and locals have been demanding that KMC scrap its plan to build an amusement park and a coffee shop and boating facility at the pond. They have asked KMC to reconstruct the pond using traditional materials and skills.

KMC officials, however, have claimed that the rebuilt pond will be able to earn revenues up to Rs 100,000 per day if constructed in the current proposed model.


  • Rani Pokhari reconstruction as per DoA set design: Shakya


A version of this article appears in print on December 26, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Former king Juan Carlos decides to leave Spain amid corruption allegations

Prosecutors looking into bribe allegations Pressure had been building on royals to take action Former king remains "at the disposal" of prosecutors The 82-year-old helped guide Spain back to democracy MADRID: Spain's former king Juan Carlos has decided to leave his country, a drama Read More...

Ruling party co-chairs stick to their guns

Oli to remain PM till general election, co-chair till General Convention: NCP leader Gokul Baskota Kathmandu, August 3 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and KP Sharma Oli held talks today in an attempt to break the current impasse in the party, but failed to Read More...

Airlines seek permission to resume flights

Airline companies have to resubmit their proposal for slots if flight operations are halted for more than 60 days Kathmandu, August 3 The government's decision to resume domestic and international flights from August 17 has prompted airline companies to start submitting their proposals to the Ci Read More...

Dhading bans sand mining during monsoon

Dhading, August 3 In view of increasing deaths related to river mining, the authority in Dhading decided to impose a complete ban on sand mining from rivers in the district during the monsoon season. There is already a rule that bans mining of river products using heavy equipment during the ra Read More...

File photo of Melamchi Water Supply Project tunnel.

‘Technical error caused Melamchi tunnel accident’

Kathmandu, August 3 A committee formed to investigate Melamchi tunnel incident has concluded that one of the sluice gates on the tunnel of the Melamchi Water Supply Project had broken due to a technical error. A project engineer and a driver had died due to the flood resulting from the breakag Read More...

reproductive health, Minister of State for Health and Population, Padma Kumari Aryal

Work responsibly, Minister Aryal directs employees

Kathmandu, August 3 Minister of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal has directed government employees to work responsibly as the ministry has the responsibility of protecting the property of over 30 million people of the country. She said this at the annual Read More...

PM visits under-construction museum at his private residence

Bhaktapur, August 3 Prime Minister and Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli today visited his private residence at Balkot and met with people from different walks of life. This is the third time the prime minister has visited his private residence after being electe Read More...

‘Harsher punishment against acid attackers’

Kathmandu, August 3 Women and Social Welfare Committee of the House of Representatives has directed the home ministry to make some amendments to the legal arrangement and punishment related to incidents of acid attack, pointing out the need of timely revision. After the discussion held on ‘a Read More...