Call for turning Ratna Mandir into ‘nat’l heritage site’
Apr 19, 2015-The residents of Pokhara, a major tourism hub of the country, have demanded that Ratna Mandir be transformed into a ‘national heritage site’. They want the Mandir which is adjacent to the famous Phewa lake, to be open to public by setting up a museum and biodiversity park at the site.
The Mandir stretching over 152 ropanis of land, which was used as a retreat by the former royal family during visits to Pokhara, is under the control of the office of Nepal Trust now. The property nationalised after the abolition of monarchy in 2008 is guarded by Nepal Army, but is currently not accessible to the public.
Following continuous pressure from the civil society leaders, Pokhara Sub-metropolis has finally prepared a proposal for proper management of the historic place, which it made public amid a function organised on its premises on Saturday. Pokhara Sub-metropolis Chief Executive Officer Udaya Bahadur Rana has said that the sub-metropolis is planning to set up a museum and biodiversity park at the site, without however changing the physical infrastructure.
“More national heritage sites are needed in Pokhara as the city is a major tourism hub of the country,” said Rana, adding that the city would stand to benefit if unused places like Ratna Mandir are transformed into national heritage sites.
“We will soon send a formal proposal to Nepal Trust in this regard. The sub-metropolis will immediately initiate works to develop Ratna Mandir as a national heritage site once the permission is granted,” said Rana.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Bamdev Gautam, who is also Chairman of the Nepal Trust, has said that the trust has decided to hand over the management of Ratna Mandir to a private sector through tender.
“The tender will be invited soon. Those winning the tender will use as well as be responsible for the preservation of the property so that the trust earns from it too,” he added.
Published: 20-04-2015 09:17