KMC threatens to scrap contractor’s deal over Rani Pokhari project delay

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Nov 12, 2017-Facing growing concern over a long delay in the restoration works of Rani Pokhari, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has threaten to scrap the contract with Worldwide Kandel KNKG amid scrutiny of the construction company’s role in restoring the historic monument.

The company, which was allotted a Rs52.9-million contract in January last year to rebuild the historic monument damaged in the 2015 earthquake, was supposed to complete the first phase of reconstruction and renovation works in mid- June.

But four months since the passage of deadline, the sluggish rebuilding works have reduced the once popular and beautiful monument into a sorry sight--water has dried up with the outer area around the pond is covered in bushes.

Extending the deadline by two months as the final reprieve for the company, the KMC said they would closely observe the progress for the next 10 days. 

“Considering difficulties during the monsoon season, we have decided to extend the deadline by two months,” said KMC Chief Executive Dhaniram Sharma. “But if the company does not achieve the progress as per our contract, we will cancel it.” 

The metropolis is responsible for the reconstruction and renovation of the inner and outer premises of Rani Pokhari that spreads over 63 ropanis of land. However, the reconstruction of Balgopaleshwor Temple, located at the centre of Rani Pokhari, is now under the jurisdiction of the Department of Archaeology. The KMC had handed over the reconstruction task of the temple to the Department of Archaeology (DoA) in December last year, after the metropolis came under fire for overlooking the temple’s original archaeological style of the temple. 

Director of the company Arjun Kandel, however, assured that the project would be completed within the extended deadline. “We have already completed 60 percent of the project work. We will pick up our pace and finish the remaining work within two months,” said Kandel, adding that his company had already spent Rs30million on building of the walls and cleaning of the pond. The remaining tasks, according to him, constitute the building of wall, RCC on the ground and planting flowers and adding greenery, and installing lights around the pond.

Balgopaleshwor Temple will be completed by the end of this fiscal year, the DoA said. 

“The reconstruction works on the temple are moving ahead smoothly. It will not take more than four months to complete the temple,” said Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general at the department

 

Published: 12-11-2017 07:33

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