Most heritages destroyed by 2015 quake restored

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Kathmandu, June 22: Even nine years after the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015, reconstruction of a few destroyed heritages is yet to be completed or begun. 

Some heritage monuments of the World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu Valley and other places have not yet been reconstructed because of the carelessness of the local bodies, disputes with the contractors and problems within the consumer committees. 

The 61st Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General shows that among the 920 damaged heritages across the country, reconstruction works of 129 heritages are still underway while reconstruction of 17 is yet to begin. 

Saubhagya Pradhananga, Director General of the Department of Archeology (DoA), said that 780 heritages have already been reconstructed. 

A record of the Planning Division of the DoA shows that the earthquake had damaged 215 temples and shrines in Kathmandu, 73 in Bhaktapur and 130 in Lalitpur districts.

She informed that almost all major heritages in the World Heritage Sites have been reconstructed. Only a few have not been restored. "Works on a few have been halted or have not yet begun because of disputes. However, we have managed to resolve disputes of some of the heritages,” she added. 

Sandeep Khanal, Executive Director of the Hanumandhoka Durbar Museum Development Committee (HDMDC), said that construction of almost all the big structures of the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square has been completed.  

In the powerful earthquake of 2015, a total of 71 heritages of the Hanumandhoka Durab Square were damaged, some severely and others partially. 

Meanwhile, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is preparing to reconstruct the buildings used by the Nepal Sanskrit University and Aadarsha School in the coming fiscal year by krrping their inventory records, Khanal said. 

A dispute that surfaced in the reconstruction of  Aagam Che has now been resolved, and the  DoA is preparing to construct the damaged building in the coming fiscal year, he said.  

The KMC is preparing to renovate Kumari Ghar, which suffered only partial damage. 

At present, the inner buildings of Sundari Chowk and Mohankali Chowk, and Laxminarayan Sattal and the temples of Kamdev, Bimleshwor and Biseshwore are being reconstructed, he said. 

In Lalitpur, most of the monuments destroyed in Patan Durbar Square have been restored, and reconstruction of only a few shrines is to be completed. 

According to the Patan Durbar Development Committee, most of the heritages in the Durbar Square Area have been reconstructed. A few heritages which are now under reconstruction will be completed soon.

Likewise, the 47 heritages destroyed and damaged by the earthquake in Bhaktapur have been reconstructed. There was a problem in the reconstruction of the Lal Baithak building. But, now it is in the process of reconstruction after the problem was resolved, according to the Bhaktapur Durbar Museum Development Committee. 

However, the reconstruction of a few key structures outside the Heritage Sites is still facing a snag due to trivial and other issues.  

The reconstruction work on the Rato Machhindranath Temple of Bungamati in Lalitpur has been halted due to a dispute with the Consumer Committee. 

Similarly, repairing work on the historic Sundhara within the Dharahara complex has not moved ahead as a dispute surfaced with locals over the release of water in the Sundhara.  

Similarly, the preservation work of the remains of old Dharahara has still been uncertain. The  Central Level Project Implementation Unit (ULPIU) has not floated any proper plan to preserve it.  

Rs. 9.82 billion was allocated from the fiscal year 2015/16 to 2022/23 for the reconstruction of damaged heritages. Among the total allocated budget, Rs. 6.45 billion has been spent so far, according to the 61st Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General.  

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