KATHMANDU, May 13: Government bodies - National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), Department of Archaeology (DoA) and Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) - have handed over the task of rebuilding the Kasthamandap Temple to locals. The temple was demolished in the April 2015 earthquake.
Almost 20 days ago, the local people had declared that they would restore the temple on their own. The Kasthamandap Reconstruction Campaign (KRC), chaired by Birendra Bhakta Shrestha, has expressed commitment to reconstruct the temple in the next two years.
During a function held at NRA's office at Singha Durbar on Friday, representatives from NRA, DoA, KMC and KRC Chairman Shrestha signed a memorandum of understanding ( MoU) regarding the reconstruction of the temple.
As per the MoU, the locals will have to rebuild Kasthamandap in two years, raise donations to bear the cost of rebuilding, follow the guideline prepared by DoA, listen to locals and their representatives before starting the reconstruction process.
“We fought long and hard to press the concerned authorities to hand over this project to the locals. It's good news that the government has finally approved our proposal. The project will start soon,” said Shrestha.
The 15-point understanding stated that the KMC will provide construction materials such as wood, limestone powder, brick etc to the locals.
“We have fixed a meeting of our volunteers for tomorrow (Saturday). The meeting will decide further steps after approving our proposal,” said Shrestha.
According to officials, the DoA has estimated that around Rs 190 million will be spent for the reconstruction of the temple.
Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general of DoA, said that the community will reconstruct the temple within two years. He said that the DoA is responsible for inspecting and observing the reconstruction work, besides providing technical assistance to the local community.
“We will happily encourage their work and will assist them directly,” he said.
As the government ignored the reconstruction of the 8th century temple, the locals on April 25 this year, on the occasion of second anniversary of the 2015 April earthquake, had announced to reconstruct the temple on their own.
The temple is a major attraction at the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, which is enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The ancient courtyard is one of the seven world heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley.
Locals also informed that they have a group of experts and volunteers who are eager to work for the reconstruction of the historical temple. They also plan to raise funds from the Nepali communities based in foreign countries as well as from the locals. They also committed that they will not receive financial assistance from international donor agencies.