ACHHAM, DECEMBER 23
Reconstruction of 'Achham Durbar' which began in 2008 AD (2065 BS), is yet to see completion after 13 years of commencement.
The Durbar was destroyed in February 16, 2002, during Maoist armed struggle.
The reconstruction work has resumed and stopped many times since then. Locals who have sentimental attachment with the place in relation to their ancestral history are frustrated by the repeated delays and are ready to step-up against such hold-ups.
The first contract for the reconstruction of the Durbar was approved for Rs 22.5 million, along with the commitment to complete the project by 2010. Five reconstruction companies -- Rajendra, Saud, Tulchhidurga, Badimalika and Kuwar -- had agreed on a joint venture for the reconstruction.
At the initial phase, Min Bahadur Kuwar was designated the official responsible to oversee progress at the reconstruction site. However, after the contract failed, some contactors left the venture with their shares.
Currently, Rajendra Constructions and Saud Constructions are the only two remaining partners that are carrying on with the reconstruction works.
Though the District Reconstruction Committee can claim compensation if the work is not completed in time, no compensation has yet been taken from the companies due to the fact that the building is of 'national importance'.
According to Jay Bahadur Saud of the Saud Construction, the reason behind the delay is that the building which is being reconstructed following old architecture requires Saal wood which is not easily and readily available.
Construction of the Achham Durbar was first initiated during the regime of the then King of Mangalsen, Tikabhuk Shah around 150 years ago.
The palace's construction was completed during the regime of King Tikabhuk Shah's son Dala Bahadur Shah, in 1878 AD (1935 BS), says Chandramani Bhat of Mangalsen-5, as per historian Surat Bahadur Shah.
The Nepal government had later acquired the three storeyed Durbar with 30 rooms, from a descendent of the Acchami royals named Yogendra Bahadur Shah for Rs 90,000 in (2029 BS).