Locals pick issue with Rani Mahal renovation

  • Say builders are using cement mortar against specification laid out by archaeology dept
  • The director general of Department of Archaeology says they are unable to monitor the works on regular basis as they lack human resource.
- Post Report, PALPA

Oct 18, 2016-

The renovation works of Rani Mahal, a castle built by former Palpa governor Khadga Shumsher Rana more than a century ago on the Kali Gandaki river bank, is being carried out using cement mortar instead of traditional construction materials.

Locals claimed that the contractor hired by the Department of Archaeology has been using cement mixture instead of Chuna and Surki, the materials that were originally used to build the castle. 

Krishna Kandel, a Tansen resident, said whenever there is an inspection, the contractor brings out Chuna and Surki to show that they are working according to the specification laid down by the DoA. 

“They are using cement mixture to repair the inner castle walls. There are hundreds of cement sacks hidden inside,” Kandel claimed.

The Department of Archaeology (DoA) started the renovation of Rani Mahal three years ago. 

Dharma Yes Tulsi Panchali Bhairab JV has been contracted with the task of transforming the castle into its original state by April 2017. 

But since the DoA rarely come for inspection, the contractor is carrying out the work according to their convenience, said Suresh Pandey, a local.

“The DoA has no idea how the contractor company is working. Site engineer Purna Bahadur Shrestha does not monitor the works regularly. He arrives once every two to three months,” he said. 

DoA Director General Bhesh Narayan Dahal said they cannot inspect all the sites as regularly as they would like to. 

“We have a few technicians and they have to work across the country. We cannot inspect the site regularly with the kind of human resource we have right now,” he said. 

The last major renovation of Rani Mahal was undertaken in the late 1990s.

Published: 18-10-2016 07:51

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