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Six companies apply for Dharahara rebuilding

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Jun 22, 2018-Six companies have responded to the Expression of Interest call of the National Reconstruction Authority for reconstruction of Dharahara, the nine-storey tower built in 1832 by Bhimsen Thapa that was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. According to the NRA, all the companies are based in Nepal and have proposed rebuilding the historic monument in a joint venture with a Chinese company.

The authority, mandated to carry out post-earthquake reconstruction, had gathered the applications online. According to NRA Joint-secretary Raju Man Manandhar, the authority will complete the contract process soon. “We will hold the foundation stone laying ceremony within the current fiscal year. This means we will have to complete all the process within the next two to three weeks,” Manandhar said.

All the six applicants have proposed undertaking the task in a joint venture as most of the Nepali builders have been working with Chinese companies especially in the infrastructure sector. “They have got the experience of helming big infrastructure projects,” said Manandhar.

As the design of the proposed tower has already been finalised, the NRA said, the construction process would be over in two years.

The NRA has said it will carry out the reconstruction process based on the vision of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, laid out during his first tenure as PM in 2016. The authority will seek funds from the general public for reconstruction of the historic site. The NRA would also urge the Nepal Telecom (NT), which had earlier pledged Rs1 billion for rebuilding the structure, to transfer the fund soon. The state-owned telecom giant had backtracked on the project citing disagreement with the NRA on some issues. The NT had earlier proposed an investment of around Rs8 billion for the property which it would manage for 30 years. But the NRA and the Department of Archaeology expressed their reservations over the NT’s plan to use the structure for commercial purposes.

Three years after the Gorkha Earthquake, there has hardly been any concrete move towards rebuilding historic sites. Reconstruction of a majority of historic sites has not seen progress.

Published: 22-06-2018 07:54

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