Rani Pokhari to be refilled

Kathmandu, November 28

More than two years after pumping out water from Rani Pokhari for reconstruction, the National Reconstruction Authority has proposed to replenish the pond using bore-well water and supply Melamchi water to maintain water level in the pond.

NRA officials also hinted that Melamchi water could be used to refill the pond, if the plan to refill it with bore-well water didn’t work.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City had hired a private contractor to pump out water and desiccate the pond after President Bidhya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the mega reconstruction campaign on January 16, 2016.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s proposal to turn the pond into a recreational park was met with stiff resistance from the locals.

Speaking at the parliamentary Development and Technology Committee today, NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali said, “We have proposed to dig two bore-wells, which will be used to refill the pond.”

Gyewali also said that Melamchi water would be used when the water level in the pond started receding.

A source, however, said that use of bore-well water to refill the pond was unlikely as locals would protest drawing of underground water for the purpose. NRA, Department of Archaeology and KMC have been holding meetings to discuss ways to refill the pond as monsoon rains in 2017 and 2018 did not replenish the pond as expected.

Joint-secretary Raju Man Manandhar of Heritage Conservation and Government Building Construction Division under NRA expressed confidence that the plan to replenish the pond using underground water would work.

Meanwhile, heritage conservationist and architect Sudarsan Raj Tiwari said there was no need for the authorities to worry as monsoon rains would refill the pond once layers of black mud and sand were created on its floor.

Moreover, an 11-member committee formed to offer suggestions on the reconstruction model of the pond has recommended keeping water sources beneath the pond intact so that it would not dry up.