Kathmandu, March 19
The Supreme Court today ruled that Kathmandu Metropolitan City was not authorised to demolish the historic Bag Durbar.
A joint bench of justices Anil Kumar Sinha and Sapana Pradhan Malla issued the order, stating that KMC did not have the right to demolish the building which was not under its ownership. The building, which is believed to have been built between 1803 and 1804, houses the office of KMC. After the 2015 earthquakes, KMC had proposed to demolish the building and build modern structures.
The SC has also asked the government to form a high-level technical committee to study if the building could be protected through retrofitting. The SC on October 3 last year had issued an interim order against the government to immediately halt demolition of the building. The SC had also asked the KMC to take effective measures to protect the building from further deterioration, but no any initiative has been taken to protect it.
Advocates of Pro-public and heritage conservationists had filed a writ petition on October 2 after the KMC started demolishing the building. Sanjay Adhikari, one of the writ petitioners, said, “Since the SC has ruled that KMC does not own the building, we are hopeful that it will be protected.”
A version of this article appears in print on March 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.