Reconstruction of Rani Pokhari likely to be delayed

Kathmandu, December 23

Reconstruction of Rani Pokhari, which was destroyed during the 2015 earthquake, is likely to be delayed further as once again as public and some conservationists have protested the use of cement and concrete for the reconstruction of the pokhari.

Information officer of Kathmandu Metropolitan City BasantaAcharya said if the protest continued, KMC would be compelled to stop the construction work and scrap the contract with the contractor. Historians and archaeologists are also against KMCs plan to convert the historic pond into a recreation park.

Workers at the pond site were seen working using excavators to dig the mud and speeding up the construction of concrete wall till today evening.

KMC is planning to transform the pond area into an amusement park with facilities like boating and coffee house, among others. According to KMC officials, the location will be helpful to generate up to Rs 100,000 per month.

Stakeholders have accused that KMC has started the construction process without getting approval from the Department of Archeology. DoA is a responsible body to approve the design and architectural mapping of destroyed heritage.

Alok Tuladhar, a local activist and an initiator of ‘Save the heritage’ campaign said neither DoA nor KMC are being sensitive towards the need to rebuilt our heritages keeping their historical significance intact. “Both government bodies are working together just for the monetary gain,” Tuladhar said.

The blueprint of the construction model for the pond issued by the DoA shows that the design made by the KMC was not signed or approved by the DoA. Officials of DoA, according to Alok Tuladhar, were pressured by KMC officials to give approval

Acharya, however, said the construction work would be carried out as per the design approved by DoA but if people protested, they would stop the construction work. “We used concrete and cement after our engineers suggested it. They carried out a detailed study for the reconstruction work and materials to be used for it,” he said.

Mayor of KMC Bidhya Sundar Shakya promised to address people’s demand and work accordingly after stakeholders reached the office to lodge a complaint.

Reconstruction work of the pond is being undertaken by Worldwide Kandel KN KG JV, which has also bagged the contract to rebuild Balgopaleshower temple located at the centre of Rani Pokhari.

Reconstruction of the temple was also stopped after locals protested against the use of concrete in 2016.