Kathmandu, April 15

Kathmandu Metropolitan City has warned the contractor that it is not going to extend the project deadline for construction of the historical Kamal Pokhari any more.

According to KMC, Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya recently inspected the under-construction infrastructure of Kamal Pokhari and told Indra Sitaula, an official representative from Jaya Dhananjaya Kandel JV, that the metropolis wanted him to hand over the project within the stipulated time. In response, Sitaula assured that the contractor company would hand over the project by the end of April. Mayor Shakya also cautioned Sitaula to ensure that there was no alteration of the original design of the historical pond. According to the contractor, more than 85 per cent of the construction work was over.

"We are working on the last part of the pond and installation of lights. We will hand over the project no later than the end of April," he said.

Though KMC had awarded the contract to Jaya Dhananjaya Kandel JV, Ranibari, setting a deadline for 29 June 2020, the work could not proceed as per the agreement due to sluggishness on the part of the contractor and dispute over the construction modality.

KMC had recently pumped 20 million litres of water into the pond. Engineer Prem Bahadur Shrestha said around 250 million litres of water was needed to fill the pond. "We will fill the pond with water within a few days," he informed.

The metropolis has designed the pond in such a manner that it stabilises the water level through natural water and rainwater harvesting system throughout the year.

KMC also claimed that it had not used concrete structures in the historic pond as it was rumoured. It said no structure was constructed that posed a threat to its history and prestige.

According to the metropolis, the vicinity of the pond will have five pavilions in the entrance, along with seven shrines for prayer.

The under-construction pond spreads over 23 ropani land.

Earlier, rights activists and locals had staged a protest against the authority's alleged plan to use concrete structures in the historic Kamal Pokhari in the heart of the capital. It is considered a sacred pond by the indigenous Newari people of the valley. A park will also be constructed in its vicinity.

According to KMC, the park will be disabled-friendly and the pond will have a water fountain in the middle. The park will also comprise resting places, badminton and basketball courts and fitness equipment.