Nepal | January 26, 2020

Reconstruction of Durbar High School begins

Himalayan News Service

File – A view of quake-damaged Durbar High School in Kathmandu, on August 20, 2016. Photo: Bikesh Prajapati/THT

Kathmandu, July 2

Reconstruction of the historical Durbar High School, which was badly damaged in the 2015 earthquakes, has finally begun.

The school building is being reconstructed with the help of the Chinese government, which has proposed to build a four-storey building instead of the original three-storey building by using modern construction materials. However, the height of the school building will remain the same and the neoclassical architecture look will also be kept intact.

Reconstruction of the school started after approval from National Reconstruction Authority, Department of Archaeology, the school management committee and Kathmandu Metropolitan City to build the school using modern construction materials.

The school was originally built in 1851 to provide education to the children of the then rulers of the country.

Earlier, rights activists and conservationists had obstructed the reconstruction work protesting the use of modern materials for reconstruction. The blueprint of the building was not approved for a long time after the members of Society of Nepali Architecture did not agree with the decision to give the building a modern look.

At present two schools are run on the premises of Durbar High School Building. According to the principal of Bhanu Secondary School Hem Chandra Mahato, the Chinese contractors had built 10 temporary learning centres to run regular classes. The school will run classes in the TLCs for two years. “We have been told that the reconstruction work will be completed within 18 months,” said Mahato.

There are around 180 students at Bhanu Secondary School and 150 students at Sanskrit Secondary School.

Meanwhile DoA officials, who visited the site, today asked the contractors and workers to hand over artefacts (if found during the dismantling process) to the Department of Archaeology.

The school was opened to the public from 1902 onwards.

A version of this article appears in print on July 03, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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