Darshana files RTI application seeking details of Rani Pokhari reconstruction

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 15, 2018-

Bibeksheel Sajha Party leader Ranju Darshana has filed right to information application at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and the Department of Archaeology, seeking details about Rani Pokhari reconstruction project.  

Darshana, who is also in the advisory panel of the Rani Pokhari Reconstruction Committee, tendered the RTI application at both offices on Wednesday. In the application, she has demanded disclosure of the details of construction work undertaken by the DoA and the expenses incurred so far, the time frame stipulated for Rani Pokhari reconstruction, the details of all meetings held between the KMC and the DoA officials concerning the project, the names of the construction firms that the DoA had awarded contracts for the project at different times, and the names of the DoA workers involved in the project.

 “I have had many conversations with the KMC and  the DoA officials regarding Rani Pokhari reconstruction, but nothing has changed so far,” said Darshana on her decision to file the RTI application.

Rani Pokhari had suffered heavy damage during the earthquake on April 25, 2015. Most of the brunt was taken by the iconic Yamaleshwor temple at the centre of the historic pond.  

More than three years have passed since the earthquake, and Rani Pokhari remains in ruin.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari had launched the post-quake reconstruction campaign on January 16, 2016, by laying the foundation stone of the Yamaleshwor temple.

The KMC had agreed to restore Rani Pokhari and began working on it, but the project fell through after heritage conservationists raised objection to the use of modern construction materials.  

The KMC on the third week of April decided to tear down the concrete structures built around Rani Pokhari and start the rebuilding process. This time it has agreed to use traditional methods and materials, with the DoA monitoring every aspect of the project. A new master plan.

“The master plan is just a ruse. Master plans are made for the construction of new structures. All we are asking is rebuild Rani Pokhari back to its old form,” said Alok Siddhi Tuladhar, a heritage conservationist.  

The site where Rani Pokhari once nestled has turned into an empty lot. Patches of bush here and there and some nondescript vestiges of bygone era. As though the place has been purposely left ignored.

Published: 15-06-2018 07:16

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