Monday, 29 November, 2021

Nyatapole renovation completes in less budget


By Binu Shrestha

Kathmandu, July 15: When renovation and reconstruction of several cultural heritages and monuments of the nation have been moving by hiring contractors through tender process and foreign aid, Bhaktapur municipality has completed reconstruction of around 100 small and big heritages and monuments in volunteer support of locals and donation. The reconstruction completed spending less than the estimated budget and without receiving any foreign aid.
Several heritages have been reconstructed in contract basis and from aid received from other countries. However, the municipality is leading the renovation, reconstruction and conservation of the properties through the consumer committee and in direct involvement of locals by avoiding foreign aid and lengthy contract process.
The renovation of five-storied pagoda style Nyatapole Temple of Taumadhi square of Bhaktapur is one of the monuments reconstructed with mass volunteering of locals, which completed before the onset of monsoon and spending less than the estimated cost.
More than 4,000 locals provided their supportive hands to complete the renovation works of this tall temple.
The municipality has begun renovation works after forming four-level committees before the enforcement of the lockdown after its fifth floor got damaged while roofs of all five stories were damaged by the 2015 earthquake.
Nyatapole, one of the pagoda structures of the Kathmandu Valley placed on high basement, stood intact in the quake although most of the other pagoda structures were destroyed. It had also survived the great earthquake of 1934.
The fifth floor of the tower structure was demolished before the lockdown was imposed on March 24. Fearing further damage during the monsoon rains, reconstruction process was resumed, said Sunil Prajapati, mayor of Bhaktapur Municipality.
“We asked local committees to provide their volunteer support. They started volunteering to resume the renovation work left midway to prevent the cultural heritage from being damaged.”
Their active involvement not only culminated in the completion of the renovation work on the pagoda in stipulated time, it also instilled the feeling of ownership, responsibility and attachment of the locals to the heritage, said mayor Parajapati.
As per the slogan of “Built Our Heritage Property by Ourselves” the municipality has begun renovation, preservation and reconstruction works of heritages, monuments and other development works. Local committees have been providing their volunteer labour and donation to the municipality, he added.
As a result, more than 100 big and small projects led by the municipality completed before the deadline and spending less than the estimated budget.
German Development Bank has offered an aid of Rs. 1.2 billion to rebuild the earthquake-damaged 10 heritage monuments, including Nyatapole Temple and three schools inside the Durbar Square.
“I have given priority to local source, materials, technology, skill and knowledge rather than depending on foreign aid and tender process to build our own heritages. Heritage should not be given to the contractors and foreigners for reconstruction,” he further said.
Keshab Tamakhu, president of Consumer Committee, said that the municipality had estimated Rs. 6.5 million to renovate Nyatapole Temple.
The committee has completed it at around Rs. 3 million with the voluntary labour of around 4,000 people and more than Rs. 1.2 million donations of the locals.
The committee has received full support from the locals to continue the renovation works even in the lockdown, he said.
Volunteering labour is a culture of locals of Bhaktapur. Locals have been providing voluntary labour to any big and small heritage and other development works from earlier, which grew internal affection and ownership, he said.