Reconstruction of Rani Pokhari delayed

Kathmandu, December 9

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has started relocating fish from Ranipokhari to Kamalpokhari since Wednesday to clear the site for reconstruction. Earlier, the KMC had relocated fish to Balaju Baisdhara Park.

According to the KMC, the remaining fish are being shifted to Kamal Pokhari by KMC staff. The reconstruction of Ranipokhari and Bal Gopaleshwor temple is yet to begin because of conflict between the KMC and the Department of Archeology.

The KMC had stepped out from the reconstruction works of the historic Bal Gopaleshwor temple, which lies at the centre of the pond on the third week of September.

Reconstruction work had halted for more than two weeks under instructions from the Department of Archeology, as the works did not meet standards set on August 29. The KMC and the DoA are still in disagreement regarding the standards for the reconstruction of Ranipokhari and the Bal Gopaleshwor temple.

The department had directed the KMC to not use concrete while reconstructing the site. But KMC refused to abide by the directive and withdrew from the reconstruction project.

The KMC was unhappy at UNESCO’s concerns over the use of concrete in rebuilding Rani Pokhari, as it is not listed in UNESCO as a heritage site, and the DoA had not put the use of concrete as a criterion earlier.

The reconstruction of Ranipokhari had been commissioned to the Worldwide Kandel KN KG JV. The company has also claimed that concrete was used in the reconstruction as it had also been used earlier. The company said it had not done anything against the set standards, and was ready to furnish evidences of that.

Rani Pokhari was built in 792 Nepal Sambat (1727) BS by the king Pratap Malla. The Bal Gopaleshwor temple was built with the idols of Bal Gopal and Mahisasur Mardini along with a Shiva Linga in the middle of the pond.

The gates of Rani Pokhari were opened to the public twice a year, on Bhai Tika of Tihar and on Chhath.