The PADT had blatantly used PCC binding construction materials composed of cement in the 170-metre pavement that leads to the Bishworup temple from the main promenade through the Sleshmantak jungle. The area falls under the Unesco World Heritage site enlisted in 1997.
“We didn’t know about the use of concrete in the area. Using concrete in the protected zone is against the heritage norms. We have already instructed the PADT to
remove the PCC,” said Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general at the DoA.
The trust had awarded Rs2.9 million contract to Dharma Yes Nirmad Sewa to build the walking pavement inside the Sleshmantak jungle.
When the Post inquired about the reason behind not consulting with the DoA over the use of concrete, PADT Director Bharat Marasini said “We don’t consult with the DoA while making the road.” He said the trust would take a formal decision on the matter once its Member Secretary Pradeep Dhakal returns from his overseas trip.
Cultural expert Beena Poudyal said paving the promenade with concrete materials was against the archaeological norms. “It could be because the trust didn’t know the negative consequences of using concrete in the jungle which has both historical and natural significance. Paving concrete directly affects the natural vegetation,” said Poudyal.
However, Dinesh Kumar Dangol, Ward-8 chairperson said the PADT has long been undertaking construction works unilaterally without involving the locals. “The trust never consults with us for any decisions. PADT is the sole body to preserve this pious shrine, instead, it is destroying it,” said Dangol.
In December, the PADT came under fire for allowing concrete materials to rebuild the Jay Bageshwori temple that was damaged in the 2015 earthquake. Five months earlier, the PADT had also courted controversy for demolishing one of the four Shivalayas on the premises of the Pashupatinath temple.