Row Continues Over Restoration of Age-old Nepali Heritage Sites

While some of the damaged heritage sites have been restored, few of them are still awaiting the process!

Row Continues Over Restoration of Age-old Nepali Heritage Sites

The April 2015 massive earthquake has left many sorrowful memories for Nepal!

One such is the destruction of some of the country’s centuries-old heritage structures that hold high significance locally and globally.

Though some of them are back to life as part of the government’s earthquake reconstruction activity, some of them are still facing lack of proper support.

Here are two of them, on similar lines, reported recently to have been facing similar situation!

Hari Bhawan & Ranipokhari
According to a recent update, the Kathmandu Metropolitan city (KMC) is reportedly planning to demolish the capital’s historical Haribhawan in Sundhara in a week’s time.

The department is planning for Haribhawan’s demolition and reconstruction of Ranipokhari in Ratnapark at once, says Nawaraj Dhakal, KMC Assistant Spokesperson.

RanipokhariIn this regard, the department has already called for project quotation to expedite the reconstruction process.

The decision has been pending since a year as the country’s Department of Archeology (DoA) stopped the move.

Haribhawan has a historical background of more than 100 years and has been used for KMC’s operations since 2003.

Whereas, Ranipokhari holds a historical record of more than 400 years and has been pending for reconstruction after public protested over usage of modern material in the rebuild activity.

Bagh Durbar On the Other Side
BaghdurbarMeanwhile, another iconic heritage site Baghdurbar is also facing a similar issue.

As per latest news, Kathmandu-based locals, culture experts and heritage conservationists have raised a serious opposition to DoA’s approval to demolish Baghdurbar.

Against KMC’s move towards call of tenders for demolishment, the city-based stakeholders have reportedly called for a protest outside the iconic site.

“We want to prevent this wrongful act. Baghdurbar is part of our heritage. A study has already concluded that the building could be retrofitted, but the metropolis and the archaeology department are after demolishing it,” says Chanda Rana, Coordinator of Save Heritage Campaign.

DoA took a decision to retrofit and restore the site after a two-year-long technical assessment post the 2015 earthquake that damaged the site.

KMC officials opine that the retrofitting costs are higher compared to that of the demolishing and rebuilding the
age-old structure from scratch.

The National Society for Technology denies the argument as its senior technical adviser says that the retrofitting needs only 35 percent of the total amount required for new construction.

Architect and Former Dean of the Institute of Engineering of Pulchowk Sudarshan Raj Tiwari also feels the same.

“If Gaddi Baithak of Basantapur can be restored through retrofitting, Baghdurbar can also be restored in a similar manner. After all, Baghdurbar had suffered less damage than Gaddi Baithak,” adds Tiwari.

Rana makes it very clear that they will not let the metropolis demolish the building. “We have already saved around three dozen quake-damaged palaces from getting demolished and we will be successful in saving Baghdurbar as well,” he adds.

July 19, 2018 |

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