A sketch of the Earthquake Memorial Park. Photo: Rpublica
GORKHA, Nov 4: The construction of the much-hyped Earthquake Memorial Park in Barpak, the epicenter of the catastrophic earthquake of 2015, remains stalled halfway. As per the agreement, the project should have been completed by now. However, only 30% of the work has been done so far.
Obstruction by locals and difficulty in supplying construction materials through the muddy roads in monsoon, among others, are the reasons behind the delay. On April 24, 2016, President Bidya Devi Bhandari laid the foundation stone of the park, marking the first anniversary of the monstrous earthquake. Two years have passed since then but not even half the work has been completed yet.
President Bhandari at that time had also laid the foundation stone of the house of Gopal BK, a local . His house has already been constructed. Though the Office of the President, District Administration Office (DAO), Urban Development and Building Division Unit among others have shown concern towards the delay in reconstruction, the sluggish construction of the park has failed to grab the attention of any of these offices.
So as to give life to the park, 28 quake-damaged houses will be conserved along with the debris. The main objective of the park will be to allow tourists and local visitors to observe the shattering effects of the earthquake. In the beginning, locals expressed great dissatisfaction over the plan that stalled the project for a long time.
Currently, the area around the park has been protected with fencing. Walls have been constructed to protect the damaged houses. However, other infrastructures are still under construction. Swachanda Home Construction JV has been assigned with the project. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 140 million.This park will be constructed in around 200-ropani area. Reportedly, the park will have a waiting room, a ticket counter, roads, a children's park, some jungle area, an open ground and various other structures which will remind the people of the devastating earthquake. According to the construction company, the project could have been completed on time only if they had the co-operation of the locals. "Topographical difficulties and devastated roads often make it challenging to carry out the work. It would have been a lot easier if we had got cooperation from the locals," said Hom Bahadur Baniya, owner of the construction company.
The construction of this park will be greatly beneficial for the locals. "This park should be developed as a model park of the country. We can attract a large number of tourists once the park is completed," said Jit Bahadur Ghale of Barpak.