Kathmandu, August 20
Kathmandu Metropolitan City has called for tender for the reconstruction of Ranipokhari and Balgopaleshwor temple for the third time. Ranipokhari was destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes.
Earlier, the KMC had terminated its second contract with Worldwide Kandel KN KG JV in April. With the termination of the contract, KMC suffered a loss of Rs 25 million which was given to the contractor company at the time of agreement.
KMC officials said the money was provided to the contractor as per the agreement to provide 20 per cent amount of total expenditure in advance.
The contractor had used cement and other modern materials to build retaining walls of the pond. The structures, however, were removed by the KMC after the locals and right activists protested the use of modern materials to reconstruct the site of archaeological importance.
The historically important pond was built in 1670 by King Pratap Malla. The conflict between the locals and government bodies grew bitter after the KMC proposed to convert the pond into a recreational park.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwor Pokharel, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari, director general at the Department of Archaeology Bhesh Narayan Dahala and Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya had held a meeting to discuss reconstruction of Ranipokhari. At the meeting they had tentatively discussed giving the contract for reconstruction of Ranipokhari to the Nepali Army.
KMC has, however, backtracked from the proposal after the locals and right activists launched protests against KMC’s plan.
On August 18 and 19 locals had held discussions with experts, officials of the Department of Archaeology and officials of KMC on the issue. According to a source, KMC Mayor Shakya and Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi had a heated argument on the issue. Deputy Mayor Khadgi has been protesting the KMC’s decision to use modern technology and allow NA to rebuild the pond.
Locals and right activists have been demanding that the reconstruction of the pond and the temple at the centre of pond should be carried out as per the recommendation made by a high-level commission.
KMC on December 28 last year had formed an 11-member expert committee to recommend reconstruction model of Ranipokhari. The commission had advised that the pond could be rebuilt as per the Malla-era design.
Source: The Himalayan Times.