City Hall to get facelift for Saarc summit

- SAMIK KHAREL, Kathmandu
City Hall to get facelift for Saarc summit

Aug 6, 2014-

The City Hall is set to undergo a metamorphosis as the government plans to refurbish the structure starting mid-August to host the upcoming Saarc summit. The Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) has already acquired the tender from interested bidders, which will be announced next week.

Plans are to enhance the structure and make the venue suitable to host the international summit. As part of the facelift, the DUDBC plans to construct a holding room to welcome delegates before they enter the main hall. “One of our main constructions is the holding room which will be constructed soon,” said Sambhu Kc, director general at the DUDBC. Additional plans include furnishing the main hall, stage and restrooms. All the chairs in the hall are also set to be replaced. “We also realised the need to widen the road stretch leading to the hall. It’s a single lane and is narrow for delegates’ vehicles with their security personnel,” he added.

The DUBDC plans to complete the reconstruction by the first week of November, three weeks ahead of the summit. Not just the construction, but the current amenities, including sound system, electrical wiring, fire fighting equipments and heating system, also have to be upgraded. “We have to replace all the equipments since they have been outdated and functionless,” said KC. The government has also provisioned for the fast-track tender process for Saarc summit preparations.

Together with the main venue to host the summit, the DUBDC also has the responsibility to revamp the Gallery Baithak at Singha Durbar. The department plans to upgrade the external and internal structure of the Baithak, which will be prepared to host the minister-level meeting during the summit. “We have to change the sitting arrangement and focus on the interior decoration, as this structure hasn’t been used for years,” KC said. The government has allocated Rs 200 million for these projects, of which Rs 150 million will be used for the City Hall.

Initial plans were that the City Hall be revamped with joint efforts from Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and the DUDBC. However, now the DUBDC has the sole responsibility for the makeover.

“We thought that two authorities working on the same project would be a mess. Hence we decided to carry out the project single-handedly,” KC said. The KMC’s budget, which was allocated for the City Hall renovation, will be used for other beautification work.

Published: 07-08-2014 09:14

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