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Students play football in quake-ravaged Rani Pokhari

- Anup Ojha, SAMUEL CHHETRI, Kathmandu

Jan 9, 2019-

Around four dozen members of the Nepal Student Union, the student wing of Nepali Congress, played football on the ground of Rani Pokhari on Tuesday as a symbolic protest against the delay in the reconstruction of the historic site that was badly damaged in the 2015 earthquake. Rani Pokhari was built in 1670 AD by King Pratap Malla—one of the leading monarchs of the Malla dynasty that ruled Nepal for more than 600 years.

The student group protested against the government’s failure in fulfuling its commitment to the people.    

Prime Minister KP Oli on Sunday addressed the winter session of Parliament where he underlined the achievements made by his administration in its first 10 months.

 “In his address to the public, the Prime Minister claimed to have earned many fictitious achievements. He extensively talked about a prosperous Nepal, which is a big lie,” said Dilli Ram Subedi, Vice-chairman of the Nepal Student Union (NSU).  “We wanted to remind him of the current condition of Rani Pokhari and how the government has not done anything to repair the site.”   

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari while launching the National Reconstruction Campaign in January 16, 2016. In December of the same year, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) had relocated over 2,000 cat fish from Rani Pokhari to Kamal Pokhari after drying the pond for cleaning purpose.  Three years after the launch, the government has yet to bring any significant changes to the site.         

Last year, the KMC had built a 10-feet high concrete retaining wall on the eastern side of the pond as a part of the reconstruction project. However, after widespread criticism, the metropolis removed the wall for which it had spent Rs1.6 million. So far, the metropolis has allocated Rs25 million on restoring Rani Pokhari.

“With this symbolic protest, we hope to put pressure on the government and the KMC to expedite the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari,” said Sumit Karki, vice chairperson of the NSU’s Min Bhawan Branch.

Published: 09-01-2019 08:13

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