KATHMANDU, June 27: Indifference on the part of the Home Ministry and the National Planning Commission to relocate their logistics and goods stored in Singha Durbar, the main building which housed the central secretariat of the government until the 2015 earthquakes, has hampered the National Reconstruction Authority's recent move to carry out survey for retrofitting the century-old place.
The NRA has already written twice to the two government bodies to vacate rooms that were being used by the bodies before the earthquakes and pave way for carrying out the damage assessment survey of Singha Durbar but the request has fallen on deaf ears.
After Prime Minister KP Oli had expressed his utter dissatisfaction over the NRA's delay in Singha Durbar reconstruction two months ago, the authority hired Infrastructure Engineering Research and Consult Pvt Ltd to carry out a damage assessment survey.
The consultant has been given one and a half months timeframe by NRA to submit a preliminary report of the survey and prepare retrofitting design to rebuild the damaged portion of the palace by another two months. A team of the company has started survey of the damaged portion of the palace.
“Our survey team has not been able to carry out survey in a full-fledged manner as the two floors of the damaged portion of the palace are still occupied by logistics and goods of the government bodies,” said Joint Secretary of NRA Raju Man Manandhar. He expressed worry that the team may not be able to complete survey on time if the two bodies did not relocate their logistics from the palace immediately.
Manandhar said that a team of NRA visited the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to request him to instruct the bodies to clear the structure as soon as possible.
The Ministry of Defense has already provided keys of the rooms used by it for vacating them.
Spokesperson of the Home Ministry Ram Krishna Subedi said that the ministry has not received any letter from the NRA regarding vacating the rooms used by the home ministry in the palace.
However, information officer of the National Planning Commission Shiva Ranjan Poudel admitted of receiving letters from the NRA asking to relocate their logistics.
“We have stored our logistics and goods in three rooms of the damaged building. Since our current office does not have enough space, we are still discussing where to relocate the stored items,” said Poduel.