KATHMANDU, April 18: Reconstruction of the historic monument, Dharahara, in the federal capital has been going on even when the entire country is under lockdown.
The government announced a lockdown since March 24 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Two hundred regular workers were carrying out the reconstruction works until March 22. Most of them were Nepalis while 20 were Bengalis.
The Nepali workers from Saptari and Dang went home by various means after the enforcement of the lockdown.
However, the Bengali workers could not go to their home and the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has made arrangements for them to continue working by adopting adequate safety measures. These workers are at work at present. They are engaged in 'micro-pile', the construction of pillar below the foundation, at present.
The construction company has made arrangements for their food and accommodation, said Rajuman Manandhar, the Chief of the NRA's Public Building and Infrastructure Division. According to him, 38 percent reconstruction works of Dharahara have been completed so far with the RCC up to 10 storeys of the Dharaha having been done. Rs 960 million has been spent in the Dharahara reconstruction up to this point.
The nine-storied Dharahara, an iconic tower that dominated Kathmandu's skyline, was completely destroyed by the Gorkha Earthquake on April 25, 2015. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had laid the foundation stone for the construction of a new Dharahara on December 28, 2019.
Raman Construction Company Limited is constructing the new Dharahara. The new Dharahara would be built in the same architectural style as the old one but would have larger diametre and would be 72 meters tall. It would have 22 storeys.
The new Dharahara would also have two elevators along with the traditional stairs leading up to the top. A garden, museum, colorful fountain, exhibition hall, parking lot and shops would also be constructed on its premises. The total estimated cost of the new Dharahara is 3.48 billion.