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Dharahara reconstruction nears completion



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By A Staff Reporter, Kathmandu, March 3: As the work on the Dharahara reaches the 22nd floor, the reconstruction of 22-storey historical landmark nears completion. Now, only works like plastering, installing elevators and pinnacle remain. 

In addition to the work on the tower, other structures such as the triple basement, four-storey museum are being constructed simultaneously. Work on the museum has begun and around 65 per cent of work on the triple basement has been completed so far, Raju Man Manandhar, an expert with the European Union Technical Support, which is working under the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), said.

The reconstruction project, which was initiated on October 7 of 2018, by Nepal-China joint venture companies, has completed some 56 percent of its total work at the expense of Rs. 1.58 billion to date.

The towering structure has 22 storeys from inside and 11 storeys from outside. It will boast of two elevators and staircases inside it.  It will take 15 to 20 days to set up a single elevator, he added.

However, the NRA is yet to start conservation work on old Dharahara, whose remains it has planned to keep inside a glass case after retrofitting.

What’s more, conservation work towards bringing back the water spout to life hasn’t started yet, despite the completion of its blueprint.

Around Rs. 1.2 million is earmarked for manufacturing, supplying, fixing and finishing gold-plated bronze casing for the existing Sundhara.

The water spout was damaged during the construction of the Kathmandu Mall, while its outlet supply channel was damaged during the building of Sundhara-based hotels.

“We had planned to dig a 23-ft deep channel from Sundhara to Tripureshwor to let the water out from the spout before but now we have planned to divert the channel at Tukucha River through Tundikhel, Bhadrakali to Hongkong market,” he said.

Once the design of the water channel and location is approved, digging process will start. The NRA has planned to bring back water in it.

Though the deadline of the project has been extended to June 2021, the project is unlikely to complete by the stipulated time. This is so because structures like triple basement, four-storey museum and preservation task of the remains of old Dharahara and Sundhrara has not yet completed, despite the completion of other major works, he added.

The project now spreads over 42.2 ropanis of land, after it acquired the land belonging to the Department of Mint and the southern part of Kathmandu Mall.