Nepalis asked to chip in for rebuilding iconic Dharahara

Kathmandu, February 16

The government will collect donation from Nepali citizens to rebuild Dharahara also known as Bhimsen Tower which came crashing down on April 25 after a devastating earthquake.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today appealed to Nepalis to contribute towards rebuilding Dharahara and also announced that he would contribute one month’s salary for the purpose.

The government has decided to collect donation from Nepalis so that they would feel ownership in rebuilding of the historical site. “We want to rebuild Dharahara  the symbol of our pride  by collecting funds from Nepali people, as this will give the message of national unity,” PM Oli said.

The prime minister made the announcement during a programme organised by Nepal Tourism Board and Kathmandu Metropolitan City to affirm the commitment at higher political level towards rebuilding of historical sites.

Deputy Prime Ministers Kamal Thapa and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, other Cabinet ministers and Chairperson of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal were also present at the programme.

PM Oli added that the government is preparing to rebuild Dharahara as a memorial of lives lost during the earthquakes of April and May.

A monument will be built on which the names of all those who died during the quakes are inscribed, according to the prime minister.

He said the government would mobilise its own resources to rebuild some of the structures, like the Supreme Court’s building, administrative buildings of the government and historical sites.

During the programme, the National Authority for Reconstruction launched a campaign titled I will build Dharahara in a bid to collect donation from individuals, corporate houses, non-resident Nepalis and others.

The campaign is a part of the three-month reconstruction mega campaign, which was launched on January 16.

NAR will disclose the bank account for depositing donations tomorrow, according to NAR CEO Sushil Gyawali.

NAR has proposed that the new Dharahara will have a façade similar to the old structure. However, it will be built using modern construction materials, will have a three-storey underground parking and will be over 203-feet high.

The 225-feet Bhimsen Tower was built in 1825 by the first prime minister of Nepal Bhimsen Thapa.

It was partially damaged by the massive earthquake of 1934. The nine-storey 203 feet tower was rebuilt, but it came crashing down on April 25.

The Department of Archaeology will be the implementing agency in rebuilding of heritage sites.

According to DoA Director General Bhesh Narayan Dahal, 753 heritage sites suffered damage during the earthquakes of April and May. Of them 250 were damaged in Kathmandu, 130 in Lalitpur, 78 in Bhaktapur and rest outside the Valley.

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report prepared by National Planning Commission has put the total financial loss due to the damage caused to cultural heritage sites at Rs 19.22 billion.

The government has received $4.1 billion foreign aid commitment to rebuild earthquake ravaged structure and rehabilitate quake victims.

Ministers to donate month’s pay

KATHMANDU: The government on Tuesday decided that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and all ministers, including state and assistant ministers, will donate one month’s salary for the reconstruction of Dharahara.

According to government spokesperson Sherdhan Rai, the Cabinet also decided that the foundation stone of Dharahara would be laid on April 24, 2016.