Temple’s consumers committee forced to buy timber at high price


The consumers committee involved in the reconstruction of the historic Rato Machchhindranath temple at Bungmati has been compelled to buy timber at an exorbitant rate due to shortage in the market.

The committee said there was shortage of various sizes of timber in the market due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reconstruction works had to be halted owing to the shortage of timber.

Committee President Amir Shakya said they had been carrying out the reconstruction work by buying the available timber at the sawmill. “Since we have not been able to get the timber in bulk, we have to bring it from several sawmills in separate trips, which is costly in terms of transportation charge,” Shakya said. He said they were compelled to buy timber at high price as the engineer assigned by the government for reconstruction of the temple had not determined the exact quantity of timber required for the same.

The temple will be 70 feet, 4 inches high from its base to the pinnacle. It is said that timber will be used for construction of the temple up to a height of 64 feet, 4 inches. “So far, wood work has been completed only up to the height of 22 feet,” Shakya shared.

“We have already ordered the ‘karnes’ and ‘batu’ bricks that are required for reconstruction of the temple. It was found that 33 different types of bricks had been used for construction of the temple in the past. We had to give special order for preparation of these two types of bricks as we could not manage them,” said Shakya.

The committee said the temple’s reconstruction had been completed up to one storey and 70 per cent of the masonry work was over. The temple which was destroyed by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake will be reconstructed with the financial assistance of Rs 50 million to be provided by the Sri Lankan government.

The consumer committee had to take the initiative for reconstruction of the temple as no agency showed any concern for the same. As a result, an agreement was signed between the committee and the Department of Archaeology for carrying out reconstruction with an investment of Rs 32.1 million. Accordingly, the reconstruction work started on July 6 after performing the atonement rituals at the temple on 4 July 2020.

As per the agreement, the reconstruction work should be completed by mid-July 2021.

The temple is believed to be around 1,500 years old and is built in the ‘Shikhar’ architectural style. The temple is dedicated to the Rato Machchhindranath deity, the god of rain and good harvest.

The Machchhindranath chariot procession, the longest religious-cum-cultural festival in Kathmandu valley and the biggest festival of Patan, is also associated with Rato Machchhindranath deity.

Both Hindus and Buddhists celebrate this festival.

There is shortage of various sizes of timber in the market due to the COVID pandemic