Singha Durbar main complex to be retrofitted

Kathmandu, April 20

The National Reconstruction Authority, Department of Archaeology and Singha Durbar Reconstruction Secretariat have agreed to preserve the original structure of the main complex of Singha Durbar through retrofitting.

The historical and iconic portion of the government’s administrative headquarters was damaged in the 2015 earthquakes last year.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Govinda Raj Pokharel and DoA Director General Bhesh Narayan Dahal informed that they would initiate recovery work of the landmark without demolition. Earlier, the government had conducted a feasibility study to ascertain if retrofitting was possible.

The NRA has also formed a sub-committee led by NEA executive committee member Hariram Parajuli for the retrofitting of palace’s facade. Its rear portion has not sustained major damage. Archaeologists urged the government not to demolish the facade but renovate it using traditional methods as demolition could kill its original artistic form.

The structure was built in 1908 by then Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher JBR during the Rana regime and has unique aesthetic and archaeological value. Consultants have also submitted a report, saying the building can be strengthened through retrofitting.

The palace boasted of over 1,000 rooms arranged around seven quadrangles and was among the largest buildings in South Asia before its front wing was destroyed in the massive fire in 1973.