MELAMCHI, March 9: Reconstruction of the heritages as old temples and Buddhist monasteries is in limbo in Sindhupalchok district even as five years have passed since the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.
This situation has come as the bodies concerned as the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and the local governments have not shown interest and prioritised the reconstruction of these heritages.
Most of the artifacts and sacred articles of the temples, shrines and monasteries are kept in makeshift shelters and are at risk of being stolen or lost as the heritage structures await reconstruction. It is said the reconstruction is stalled because of a lack of funds.
NRA District Project Implementation Unit, grants management and local infrastructure office have the record showing 190 monasteries had suffered damage from the 2015 April Gorkha Earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.
Out of the 190 monasteries that have to be rebuilt, the NRA has issued authorization to the Unit for the repair of only 28 monasteries in the current fiscal year. The Authority has released Rs 42.3 million for this purpose.
"Many monasteries here need reconstruction. But the NRA has sanctioned the funds only for repair. The budget that has been released is for the repair of only 28 monasteries," Grants Management and Local Infrastructure Office's manager Laxman Kumar Seth lamented.
According to him, the money that had been allocated for the 'repair' of heritages last fiscal year was frozen and returned as it could not be spent since the Office received the NRA's authorization only towards the conclusion of the fiscal year. He said Rs 75 million had to be returned as the money and the authorization was late in coming.
"We have already started the works as the funds for the repair of damaged monasteries have been timely released this time. An agreement has already been reached for the reconstruction of 10 monasteries and the process of contract for remaining 18 is in progress," he said.
Seth added that the process for the reconstruction has been forwarded by forming consumer committees at the local level. He informed that the reconstruction of the monasteries for which authorization has been received would be completed by mid-July this year.
The monasteries have been categorized into five groups based on the extent of damage they suffered due to the earthquake. They are categorized into Grade A, Grade B, Grade C, Grade D and Grade E heritages.
In Grade 'A' group are heritages needing immediate reconstruction. Similarly, those structures which can be brought into use after general repair are categorized as Grade B heritages, those that can be brought into use only after repair are grouped under Grade C, those structures which have been damaged to the extent that they are unfit for use and need to be reconstructed are categorized as Grade D and those heritages which have suffered complete damage with only the ruins remaining and that need reconstruction fall in the category of Grade E heritages.
At present, the Office has selected Grade A, B and C category monasteries for repair. It has allocated funds ranging from Rs 300 thousand to Rs 2.5 million for the repair considering the severity of the damage and the need.