Reconstruction of historical Sorhakhutte sattal in limbo

Kathmandu, May 19

The reconstruction of the historic Sorhakhutte sattal (rest house) remains in limbo even three years after it was demolished as part of the road expansion drive.

Responding to the locals’’ demand that the sattal be reconstructed, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers had directed the Department of Roads to rebuild the sattal in a nearby location in coordination with the Department of Archaeology. The DoR had later allocated Rs 3.4 million for the purpose.

A joint bench of justices Deepak Kumar Karki and Tej Bahadur KC of the Supreme Court on November 22, 2017 had issued a mandamus order, directing the government, local levels and the authorities concerned to reconstruct and preserve the sattal, a stone spout and a pond in the area.

Moreover, the DoR a few days ago with support from ward chair and Kathmandu Metropolitan City almost demolished  the stone spout in the area. The authorities concerned were planning to  reconstruct the sattal at the site of the stone spout, which was  vehemently protested by the locals.

KMC, which turned a deaf ear to the demand of the  locals, halted demolition of the stone spout only after the DoA order.

Kathmandu Division Head of DoR Dev  Kumar Tamang said, “We had awarded the contract for reconstruction of the sattal to a private contractor for  Rs 3.8 million. But since the DoA has halted work at the site, we do not know when the project will take off.”

Divisional engineer at DoA Sampad Ghimire said, “We halted reconstruction of the sattal after we received complaints from locals that the location is the site of the historic stone spout. Now, we are not sure where and when the reconstruction process will resume.”

It is believed that the Sorhakhutte Sattal is 207 years old.