Monasteries denied rebuilding funds

  • post-quake reconstruction
- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Jan 12, 2016-

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has expressed its inability to support for restoration of the monastries damaged by the devastating earthquake citing lack of budget. 

The Buddhist Philosophy Promotion and Monastery Development Committee (BPPMDC) had demanded Rs 8 billion for the reconstruction of the damaged monasteries in 14 quake-affected districts and maintenance of structures in 17 other districts.

Rishi Acharya, head of the Disaster Management Sector at the MoFALD, said that the government has no budget for reconstruction of the monasteries and the ministry does not have adequate funds for municipalities, district development committees and village development committees. 

Karma Tsering Tashi Lama, president of the BPPMDC said they have been waiting for ministry’s response. 

“The collapse of the monasteries has left the Buddhist community traumatised. 

The monasteries are directly linked to their rituals and the monks have no where to go. But the government is not taking the matter seriously enough,” says Lama.

The government has given the responsibility of rebuilding and reconstruction of the cultural heritages to the National Reconstruction Authority. 

According to the BPPMDC, a total of 925 monasteries were damaged in the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks. Many well-known monasteries, including Seto Gumba in Ramkot, Rato Gumba in Sitapaila, Khumchey Gumba in Gorkha, Chrighyang  Gumba in Dolakha and Chirite Gumba in Sindhupalchok, have sustained damages in the worst natural disaster to hit the country in nearly 80 years.

The committee claims there are 2,200 registered monasteries, but officials say there are about 5,000 in the country, of which more than half are unregistered. 

Nine months have passed since the Great Earthquake, but these heritages—also home to hundreds of monks—are still in mess.  

The committee has planned to reconstruct 250 monasteries in a year. “We have been unable to start off reconstruction works due to lack of funds, while the government has ignored our calls for help,” said BPPMDC Executive Director Narendra Kumar Gurung.

Published: 12-01-2016 08:50

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