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Reconstruction of Rani Pokhari to complete by mid-June



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By Binu Shrestha

Kathmandu, June 6: Reconstruction work of Rani Pokhari pond is likely to complete by mid-June.
The historic pond has missed its completion deadline due to the nationwide lockdown enforced by the government to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19). Earlier, it was expected to complete by Mid-May 2020.
The prolonged lockdown has halted the construction works of Rani Pokhari midway. The project was moving ahead to complete the reconstruction work by the end of Baishak month.
Raju Man Manandhar, an expert at the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), said, around 90 per cent work of black soil and brick laying on the bed of the pond has been completed.
There was a plan to start the water filling process in the pond from Baishak 12 and complete the rebuilding of Balgopaleshwar Temple. But the black soil laying process, wall construction and rebuilding the Balgopaleshwar Temple situated in the middle of the pond were halted midway, he said.
Rani Pokhari Consumers Committee (RCC) had initiated reconstruction of the pond from the day of Shivaratri on March 4, 2019.
“The regular working process has been affected due to the shortage of manpower. Black soil is used to reconstruct the pond which took more time than the committee had expected,” said Lokendra Khadgi, coordinator of the committee.
The consumer committee is now building the walls using the black soil. The soil is also applied on the ground to protect water from sipping.
Manandhar said that the committee brought 110 trucks of black soil during the lockdown period and it would need more black soil to complete the pond and wall works. Due to the limited number of manpower, work has not moved at the desired pace.
Water filling in the pond will start after completing the brick laying work on the ground and wall section. All the preparations to fill the water have completed, he said.
Works in the Rani Pokhari have been divided in two phases. The committee has been handling works of wall building and ground of the pond and the Construction Company, CA/Tulsi Constructors has been handling the reconstruction of the five-storey 53-feet tall Balgopaleshwar Temple, the arch bridge and a garden surrounding the pond. Approved budget for the reconstruction is Rs 140 million.
The reconstruction work of the temple, which lies in the middle of the historic Rani Pokhari, had begun in August, 2019.
The construction works of 19 arch section of the bridge have completed. The workers are now working on the link between the bridge and temple. Due to the shortage of manpower in the temple section, only around 20 workers have been working in place of 70 to 80 workers before the lockdown, Manandhar said.
Rebuilding works of Balgopaleshwar Temple and the garden section resumed from April 24 while the work on ground resumed from May 2. Construction of the second floor of Balgopaleshwar is now going on, he said.
He informed that 50 per cent construction of the Balgopaleshwar Temple and wall section had been completed while 90 per cent work on the pond had been finished.
The temple is being rebuilt in traditional Granthakut style of the Malla era. The temple was built by King Pratap Malla in Granthakut style in 1670 BS.