Dharahara reconstruction to kick off before Tihar

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 22, 2018-

The reconstruction of Dharahara is set to begin as the National Reconstruction Authority has closed the deal with Raman Construction Pvt Ltd and its Chinese Joint Venture Partner GIETC. The authority has completed the performance bond and received security bond from the contractor, paving the way for the rebuilding of the earthquake devastated monument.

“We have completed all the process and field work will start before the Tihar festival,” NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali said. “The documentation process took a while as we wanted to ensure that there won’t be issues in the days to come.”

According to Gyewali, the contractor was initially reluctant to sign performance bond and maintain security bond as per the legal provisions of the government. “We persuaded them to comply with the government rule and now the project is ready to take off,” he said. The authority had awarded the project to Raman and GIETC JV in the first week of September. The company had quoted Rs3.45 billion for the Dharahara reconstruction project. The amount is around Rs1 billion less than the next lowest bid. A consortium of Kalika Construction, Rasuwa Construction, and their Chinese JV partner CICO quoted Rs4.39 billion.

The NRA chief added that the authority would soon begin tasks like rerouting of telephone cables and other infrastructure from the construction site. The task of shifting General Post Office that lies next to Dharahara too will begin soon.

Moreover, the authority has also initiated a process to transform settlement around Dharahara in a way that matches the design of the iconic building located at the heart of the city. The idea, according to Gyewali, is to develop the location as a tourism destination. “We had a couple of rounds of discussions with the locals. And they seem positive about it,” he said, adding that the authority would hold further consultations with the locals to ensure that their perspective is incorporated in the rebuilding process. “The locals have concerns over rituals that are performed on the Dharahara premises. We’ve got to know that there needs to be a pavement for a specific ritual. And we have initiated a process to incorporate it in the design.”  

 

The nine-story tower, built in 1832 by then prime minister Bhimsen Thapa, was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015. The authority had called fresh bids from contractors after Nepal Telecom backed off from the reconstruction of the historic site. The NT had proposed that it would invest around Rs 8 billion and manage the property for 30 years to recover its investment. But the NRA and the Department of Archaeology expressed their reservations over NT’s plan to use the structure for the commercial purpose. The telecom giant, however, has agreed to contribute Rs1 billion for the reconstruction project.

Published: 22-10-2018 07:30

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