Panel submits report on Rani Pokhari to KMC

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Jan 22, 2018-

A special committee formed to study Rani Pokhari on Sunday submitted its report to Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya.

Accepting the report in the Capital on Sunday, Mayor Shakya promised the historic pond would be rebuilt based on the original design of King Pratap Malla. 

He also assured that the metropolis would consult with the Department of Archaeology (DoA), the Nepal Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and experts in the field while reconstructing the pond and Shikhara-style Balgopaleshwor temple in the middle of the heritage site.

“People even accused me of selling heritage sites for personal gains,” Shakya said defending himself. “The time will prove it. I have been lobbying for preservation of heritage sites ever since I entered politics.” 

Mayor Shakya came under fire after he barged into Rani Pokhari, breaking the padlock put up by his deputy Hari Prabha Khadgi on December 27. He then constructing 10-foot  concrete boundary wall on the south-eastern side of the historic pond.

However, the KMC mayor was not so keen to talk about a huge amount the metropolis has spent on erecting concrete structure in the pond, which the expert committee has asked it to tear down. 

Arjun Kandel, director of Worldwide Kandel KNKJ JV, the company which is handling the reconstruction project, told the Post that they had already spent in excess of Rs30 million on Ran Pokhari reconstruction.  

The report was prepared by the 11-member expert committee headed by former director general of the DoA, Bishnu Raj Karki.

Addressing the press meet, Karki asked for an additional 10 days to get feedback from the public on the archaeological excavation of the pond. 

Last week, the committee had made public its preliminary report following a public hearing. In the report, the committee has recommended rebuilding the Rani Pokhari pond, which was severely damaged in the 2015 earthquake, in three stages for its sustainability and pond preservation.  

“A study of traditional water resources, through archaeological excavation, should be carried out to find out the water inlet and outlet of the pond,” the report suggests. 

For the second phase, the committee has recommended that the original wall, located on the eastern and southern sides of the pond, should be retained. The wall was torn down during the reconstruction works. 

For the third phase, the committee has recommended that the pond’s archaeological and historical value be kept intact while carrying out the beautification task.

The committee had prepared the report after a three-day archaeological excavation in the pond and consultations with experts. During the excavation, the committee had found six layers of sand and black clay, including bricks and walls dating back to the Malla era.

 

SC directs KMC, DoA to report monthly progress

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday directed the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and the Department of Archaeology to submit a report on monthly basis on the progress of reconstruction of Rani Pokhari. 

The apex court drew the attention of the agencies concerned to ensure the originality of Rani Pokhari during its reconstruction. The KMC will have to submit a report on monthly basis till the final verdict on Rani Pokhari is out. 

A single bench of Justice Hari Krishna Karki has stated that reconstruction of Rani Pokhari pond is a matter of public concern and must be reconstructed in the traditional way. 

As the DoA has already ensured that concrete will not be used in the reconstruction, the court says, there is no need of stay order on the case. 

Advocate Deepak Mishra had filed a writ, saying that the use of concrete in the reconstruction will diminish the originality of the heritage site. An 

expert committee has also suggested the KMC to restore the pond to its original form, using traditional materials. (PR)

Published: 22-01-2018 07:31

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