Supreme Court seeks info on Bag Durbar from DoA

Kathmandu, November 20

The Supreme Court today sought more information from the Department of Archaeology on the history and authenticity of Bag Durbar, which suffered damage in the 2015 earthquakes.

Earlier, Kathmandu Metropolitan City had filed a writ petition, seeking to vacate an interim order halting demolition of the historic Bag Durbar. The SC, on October 3, had issued an interim order asking the government to immediately halt demolition of Bag Durbar.

The building, which is largely believed to have been built between 1803 and 1804, houses the office of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. KMC had proposed to demolish the building and construct a modern a structure after the 2015 earthquakes.

KMC claims that there are no valid reasons to believe that the building is Bag Durbar, According to KMC, it is Hari Durbar built in 1933.

Ancient Monument Preservation Act states that buildings older than 100 years must be preserved in its original state. Citing the same provision in the act, KMC says that it has the right to demolish the building.

KMC’s proposal had drawn flak from all quarters, including rights activists and locals. KMC has already moved a few departments and divisions that were operating from the building to Babarmahal. Immediately after the earthquakes of 2015, DoA had submitted a report, stating that the building could be repaired after retrofitting. The DoA, on May 29, 2015, wrote a letter to KMC paving the way for demolishing the building.