KATHMANDU, JULY 27: Following widespread criticism of the proposal of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya to hand over Rani Pokhari reconstruction to Nepal Army, the metropolitan city is considering to backtrack on the proposal. The KMC now plans to carry out the reconstruction itself.
A meeting of the people's representatives at the metropolis including ward chairpersons, mayor and deputy mayor on Friday came up with a tentative decision to not let the army carry out the reconstruction of the historical pond.
People's representatives of KMC expressed their dissatisfaction over the intention of the mayor to hand over the reconstruction project to the army. Deputy Mayor of KMC, Hariprabha Khadgi Shrestha said, “If even such types of works are handed over to the army, what should we, the people's representatives, do?” She added that since the work is actually supposed to be done by the metropolis, the army should not be involved in it.
Shrestha asserted that the mayor did participate in the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokharel, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari, and Director General at the Department of Archaeology Bhesh Narayan Dahal, but only to discuss the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari. She added that no decision whatsoever has been taken to hand over the reconstruction project to the army.
People's representatives also said that such a decision should only be taken after a discussion among the people's representatives and the Mayor has no right to take decisions himself on issues of public concern. Deputy Mayor Shrestha added that the major drawbacks of the working committee of the metropolis lie in the lack of coordination, teamwork and vision. Shrestha said, “If such big decisions are taken without our consent we will not be silent.”
Ward chairs oppose Bag Durbar demolition
Ward Chairpersons of KMC have opposed the decision of the metropolis to demolish Bag Durbar, a neoclassical architectural palace in the capital that also served as KMC's main office, instead of retrofitting it.
“If we take decisions like this we won't see the building restored during our time,” chairperson of Kathmandu Metropolitan City-11, Hiralal Tandukar said, “The activities of the government and the metropolis indicate that the works won't be completed soon.”
Tandukar further questioned,“If Singha Durbar can be retrofitted, Basantapur can be retrofitted and even the Supreme Court can be retrofitted, why can't Bag Durbar be retrofitted too?”