The dilapidated Gorkha Durbar. Photo: Narahari Sapkota/ Republica
GORKHA, Dec 12: The historic Gorkha Durbar (palace), one of the most preferred tourist destinations in Gorkha district, wears an ugly look.
Even four years after the devastating earthquake of 2015, it remains largely neglected.
The National Reconstruction Authority has deferred reconstruction of the historic palace time and again. The progress is disappointing. Worshipers who throng to this place in huge number during festivals and other religious occasions move on the palace premises carefully amid scattered bricks and stones.
Safety of visitors does not seem to be anyone's concern.
According to Hari Prasad Bhusal, chairperson of the Gorkha Durbar Welfare Committee, the reconstruction that started two years ago should have been completed by now. But due to the negligence of the reconstruction authority and the contractor, the progress is almost nil.
"They hold each other responsible for the delay in construction. The reconstruction authority says that the contractor did the delay and the contractor states that the authority did not facilitate them," he said.
JV Construction has been assigned the responsibility of reconstructing the palace. Earlier, it had complained that the design provided by the National Reconstruction Authority had some flaws in the foundation. The authority took three months to correct the design.
"Even after the design was corrected, we could not see any progress in the work," said Bhusal.
Meanwhile, Deepak Yogi, a local of Gorkha, lamented about the government's apathy in reconstructing a heritage site like Gorkha Durbar.
"Nobody seems concerned about this precious heritage. This site is in a mess since a long time," Yogi said. "People return disappointed from here. Everyone feels sorry about it," he said.
The reconstruction cost is estimated to be Rs 40.3 million. But more the construction is delayed, more the cost is likely to rise up.
At least 50 school children from different districts visit the palace on a daily basis.
Gorkha Durbar was constructed during the reign of King Ram Shah in the 16th century. Seven more Shah kings including the unifier of modern Nepal, King Prithivi Narayan Shah, ruled from the palace.
The National Reconstruction Authority has decided to rebuild this 400-year-old palace in its original style and structure.
The earthquake of 1934 did not harm the palace but it could not withstand the earthquake of 2015 with its epicenter in Barpak of Gorkha.