Monday, 29 November, 2021

150 heritage sites to be completed soon


By Binu Shrestha
Kathmandu, Dec. 9: The Department of Archaeology (DoA) is set to complete reconstruction works of 150 heritage sites and monuments within the current fiscal year.
Out of the 920 heritage sites and monuments devastated by the 2015 earthquake, the archaeology department has reported completion of 465 structures, shrines and temples at the end of November 2020.
In the current fiscal year, reconstruction work of 12 heritage sites has come to fruition while the procurement process for 120 monuments has been completed. Moreover, 23 multi-year projects have been sent to the National Reconstruction Authority for procurement.
According to the Planning Division of DoA, the DoA is yet to launch any programmes to expedite the reconstruction work for 139 heritage monuments at the moment.
The record of the Planning Division shows that the earthquake had damaged 215 temples and shrines in Kathmandu, 73 in Bhaktapur and 130 in Patan districts. Among them, reconstruction of 105 temples and shrines inside the World Heritage Site of Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Pashupati, Swayambhu and Bouddhanath has already been completed.
The rebuilding process for the remaining temples and shrines is running in the final year of the five-year project.
However, reconstruction has been severely impacted by the global coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent movement restrictions since March this year further elongating the project timeline. Since the last six months or so, the rebuilding process has been delayed.
Exacerbating the situation further, the decision of Nepal Timber Corporation to halt material supplies has dealt a severe blow to the reconstruction project, said Ram Bahadur Kunwar, spokesperson of DoA.
The government has allocated Rs. 1.73 billion to reconstruct remaining heritage sites in the current fiscal year. Of the total budget, Rs. 200 million comes as foreign assistance from different countries.
The DoA had so far spent Rs. 1.44 billion for the reconstruction of monuments.
In the current fiscal year, the DoA estimates the completion of 60 new projects in Kathmandu, 33 in Lalitpur and 38 in Bhaktapur.
In Kathmandu Valley, 201 heritage sites reconstruction process has been completed of the 406 damaged, 117 are under construction while 28 are still awaiting conception.
Similarly, from the 344 damaged monuments in the Valley, 156 now stand erect after the completion of the reconstruction work, 145 projects are in the middle of rebuilding phase while construction of 40 damaged structures is yet to begin.