KMC starts getting rid of concrete wall around Rani Pokhari

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 23, 2018-

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has started removing the concrete wall built around Rani Pokhari.

The move comes days after a group of heritage conservationists presented Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi with grass cut from the overgrown bed of the historic pond.

It was a novel protest that caught the attention of city officials about the state of Rani Pokhari, which is awaiting restoration after suffering heavy damage during the earthquake of 2015.

Khagdi said she was determined to conserve the heritage sites in Kathmandu.“I am in favour of restoring Rani Pokhari in its original form. After the heritage conservationists offered me grass as a form of protest this week, I immediately ordered the workers to remove the concrete wall that was built against the norm,” said Khadgi.

In December last year, Deputy Mayor Khagdi, along with KMC Ward-8 Chairman Bhairam Khadgi had padlocked the Rani Pokhari reconstruction site to stop the construction of concrete wall around the pond. But the padlock was broken just an hour later by Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya.

Although Worldwide Kandel KN KG JV began reconstructing the pond in 2016, it has very little to show for its work. Rs 25 million has been spent in the project so far. Conservationists have demanded that the authorities should investigate into the project spending, suspecting financial irregularities.

“This is a hard earned money of the people. We demand the KMC to be more accountable,” said Ganapati Lal Shrestha, a heritage conservationist. “If only the KMC had consulted with the expert, it would not have faced all these criticisms. We hope the city officials have taken a lesson from this event.”

On April 5, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari, Mayor Shakya and Department of Archaeology chief Bhesh Narayan Dahal had announced to hire a different contractor to resume the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari from May 29.

The project, however, could not be resumed after Kandel KN KG JV filed a case against KMC for its decision to hand over the project to a different company.“The hearing on the case is pending, but we do not intend to delay the project any longer,” Deputy Mayor Khadgi said.

Published: 23-06-2018 07:24

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