Govt unveils design for new Dharahara

Published On: August 2, 2016 01:50 AM NPT By: Gyan P Neupane  | @GyaNeupane

KATHMANDU, August 2: Sixteen months after the collapse of the historic Dharahara tower in last year's devastating earthquake, the government has made public a detailed design for a similar tower to be built right in front of the ruins of the origional structure.   

As per a plan to build a new tower similar to Dharahara, the Department of Archaeology (DoA) on Monday made public a detailed design for the new tower to be raised in front of the two century-old collapsed structure.

Cage Consulte Pvt Ltd, which has prepared the design for DoA, proposes to build an 11-storey tower with a total height of 245 feet. The old tower was nine stories.

Bishnu Panthi, an architect at the private company, said, “The new tower looks similar to the old but it will be a modern architectural design. The new structure will have all modern facilities such as a lift, stairways and a two-storey parking space.”

The new structure has two stories underground which will serve as a museum and as an entrance to the tower. And the new design also proposes a mini-theatre with a capacity of 17 seats at the top of the tower.

According to DoA officials, visitors will be shown a short film about the history of Dharahara.  

The new design also includes a fountain at the entrance gate. The building of the Mint Department nearby will be turned into a mint museum and the Central Post Office, which is next to the historic Sundhara (or golden water spout), will be converted into a two-storey underground parking. The cabinet has already decided to relocate those government offices elsewhere.

They also claimed that the new tower can withstand earthquakes of up to 8-point magnitude.

However, the company is not clear about the building materials to be used in the construction of the new tower.

“All the latest construction techniques will be used to make the tower earthquake-resilient,” he told Republica.

Speaking after the presentation, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Aananda Prasad Pokharel has informed that the Dharahara will be constructed through the public money.

“Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had announced to build it through the public fund. So far we have raised Rs 200 million from the public and we will re-appeal public for more funds. If we are unable to raise sufficient fund, Nepal Telecom has promised us to provide further economic assistance.”

The DoA had hired the consultant on July 10 for the entire conceptual design and given the deadline for 2 months.

The DoA plans to construct the new Dharahara within 3 years of the beginning of construction and it is estimated that almost Rs 2.95 billion will be required to build the new structure.

“The Dharahara premise will also be expanded in the area of 21267.46 square meters,” Director General of DoA Bhes Narayan Dahal said.

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