Reconstruction of cultural heritage sites expedited

Kathmandu, February 16

The government has developed a plan of action for reconstruction of all archaeological and cultural heritage site, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu Valley, across the country.

According to the Department of Archaeology, as many as 104 archaeological sites that were partially or fully damaged in the April 25 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks will be reconstructed within one year.

A total of 133 structures of archaeological importance had collapsed, 95 had partially collapsed and 515 were damaged, according to officials. Of 743 such structures, 417 belong to Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, especially those of Basantapur, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares.

It is estimated that the government will have to spend around Rs 780 million to maintain and reconstruct 104 archaeological structures.

The DoA has accorded the responsibility of reconstructing the Basantapur-based nine-storey Durbar and seven-storey Durbar of Nuwakot to the Government of China.

The Ministry of Finance has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of China to this effect.

However, Trailokya Mohan, Indrayani, Kankeshwori, Naradevi and Jaisedewal temples on the premises of Basantapur Durbar Square will be reconstructed by the DoA itself.

Similarly, the DoA has moved ahead with the reconstruction of heritage sites liek Patan-based Jagatnarayan Temple, Bhaktapur-based National Art Gallery, Taba Sattal and Batsaladevi Temple and Swoyambhu-based Pratappur Temple.

The government will also start reconstructing 43 structures under the multi-year project. Reconstruction works that could take more than one year, are listed under this project.

The DoA has already signed an MoU with the Government of Sri Lanka for the reconstruction of Rato Machhindranath Temple in Lalitpur and Anandakuti Mahabihar in Swoyambhu.

The Heritage and Environment Conservation Foundation Nepal will be reconstructing the sattals of Bhaktapur-based Changu Narayan Temple.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been entrusted with reconstructing the Shiva Temple in Ranipokhari and Kasthamandap.

The DoA will monitor the reconstruction works carried by other agencies to ensure consistency of the design.