BHAKTAPUR, April 26: German Development Bank (KfW) has pulled out of heritages reconstruction task.
The Bank withdrew from the commitment to provide support in reconstruction of heritages of Bhaktapur district, damaged by Gorkha earthquake, as understanding was not reached between the municipality and donor agency regarding the process for the heritages reconstruction task.
There was a dispute over the issue whether the heritages reconstruction task would be carried out through local users committee or by calling international tender.
The Bhaktapur municipality is on the stance that the reconstruction of heritages should be carried out through local users committee by utilizing local skill and knowledge.
In other hand, the Bank had put forth the view that the reconstruction task should be carried out through international tender.
Visiting Mayor of Bhaktapur municipality, Sunil Prajapati, German Ambassador to Nepal, Roland Schaefer said that the financial support providing through KfW has been stopped for the time being and added that there would be continuous support of German government for the development and heritages protection of Bhaktapur through other appropriate way.
He clarified that they would not go against the public sentiments, highly-praising the devotion of Bhaktapur folks in heritages conservation.
Stating that Bhaktapur and Germany have cordial relations at the people's level itself, the Ambassador Schaefer said that Germany was ready to extend support in the interest of Bhaktapur town any time.
He said an international level discussion on the local knowledge and technology in heritage preservation would be held in the future, and hoped that the Government of Germany would get an opportunity to extend cooperation in that.
Mayor Prajapati said that the Bhaktapur Municipality has been carrying out heritage conservation and development works through the consumer committees with the direct participation of the local people.
He opined that carrying out heritage preservation works through the consumer committees ensured the local people's ownership over the structures, the local people contribute voluntary labour, the quality of construction works is better at lower cost and the structures are stronger.
Noting that many heritages like the Five-storied Temple, the 55-window palace, the Bhairabnath Temple which have been constructed using local skills, technology and local construction materials were intact even for hundreds of years, Mayor Suwal said that the Municipality has been teaching the technology of constructing strong and earthquake-resistant structures using local skills and knowledge to the new generation, itself running an engineering college.
Mayor Suwal thanked the people and the Government of Germany who provided support to the Bhaktapur people in the aftermath of the earthquake of 25 April 2015. He reiterated that it was the municipality's responsibility to protect the ancient heritages of Bhaktapur as they are enlisted in the list of World Heritage Sites.
On the occasion, Deputy Mayor Rajani Joshi, Bhaktapur Municipality Ward No. 9 chairman Rabindra Jyakhwa, Municipality Ward No. 7 chair Ukesh Kanwa, tourism officer Damodar Suwal, German Development Cooperation chief Claudia Hipe, Shankar Pandey and Tika Dhakal were also present on the occasion.