The relics of old Dharahara, brought down by the 2015 Earthquake, will be preserved as a living quake museum beside the newly-built Dharahara
KATHMANDU, Feb 12: Prime Minister KP Shamra Oli has directed the National Construction Authority (NRA) to complete the reconstruction of Dharahara by mid-March (Nepali month of Falgun).
During his inspection visit to the under construction Dharahara, which collapsed during the massive earthquake in 2015, on Thursday, Prime Minister Oli directed the NRA to expedite its reconstruction tasks within a month.
The tower, which is popularly known as Bhimsen Stambha, was built by Bhimsen Thapa, the first Prime Minister of modern Nepal in 1832. Although it was an 11-story tower in the beginning, it was confined to nine after it was devastated by the earthquake that took place in 1934 AD. The nine-storey heritage with 213 steps in the spiral staircase was brought down for the second time by the massive earthquake that hit the country on May 25, 2015.
The nine-storied Dharahara, an iconic tower that dominated Kathmandu's skyline, is being reconstructed in the same architectural style as the old one, but this will have a larger diameter and will be 72 meters tall.
During the program, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NRA, Sushil Gyawali, shared that the newly-built Dharahara will have two underground floors designated for parking the vehicles. It will also have two elevators with a capacity of holding 10 people each along with the traditional stairs leading up to the top. There will be a digital presentation hall on the 18th floor.
According to Gyawali, the construction of the structures of the 21st floor of the 22-story tower is currently underway. After the completion of the topmost floor, the idol of Lord Mahadeva, which used to be in the old Dharahara, will be restored and a pinnacle will also be installed.
Moreover, Sundhara [a historical tap on the Dharahara premises] will also be conserved after supplying regular water to it. Gyawali also added that the place where the historical Taksar [old Nepali name for the department that minted coins] building was earlier located will be developed as a museum of currencies and coins.
The parts of old Dharahara, brought down by the 2015 Earthquake, will be preserved as a living quake museum beside the tall Dharahara.
According to the NRA, the new structure will cover an area of about 42 ropanis. The lowermost part will be allocated for parking with a capacity of nearly 400 four-wheelers and 700 two-wheelers. The Dharahara premises will have a garden, a museum, a colorful water-fountain, an exhibition hall and shops. The authority had also acquired the 15-ropani land of General Post Office to extend the area of the old tower. After demolishing the post office structures, other structures including the park will be built.
Although Raman Construction had signed the contract with the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to complete the reconstruction works by October 6, 2020, the deadline was extended by another nine months owing to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).