Monsoon, ‘design flaw’ delay Kasthamandap reconstruction

Published On: June 23, 2018 05:10 AM NPT By: Biken K Dawadi

KATHMANDU, June 23: A committee responsible for Kasthamandap reconstruction has decided to postpone the reconstruction work by a month citing the monsoon and a design flaw in the blueprint prepared by the Department of Archeology (DoA).

Gautam Dangol, the secretary of Kasthamandap Reconstruction Committee (KRC), the body responsible for the reconstruction of the 7th century temple, said that since the reconstruction work cannot be started during the monsoon, the committee is currently revising the design forwarded by the DoA.

“The design prepared by the DOA incorporates the use of modern techniques and metal structures, which is against the traditional method of reconstruction,” Dangol said, adding, “Therefore the design needs to be changed and it will take some time.” However, DoA claimed that the use of a few new techniques of reconstruction in the design should not be a problem. 

DOA spokesperson Ram Bahadur Kunwar said, “We have not received any formal complaint from the KRC regarding the design of the Kasthamandap,” adding, “We may have included a few modern construction techniques in the design but they were included to make the structure strong.”

Dangol meanwhile said that the committee is currently working to address two other problems -- shortage of quality construction materials and skilled manpower -- that the authorities generally face during the reconstruction of historical monuments. 

“We have been coordinating with the Timber Corporation of Nepal for the supply of timber,” he said, “As for the problem of skilled manpower; we have already finalized a team of artisans for the project.” He claimed that about it will take around a month and a half to resolve the problems related to the design, materials and manpower.

Only about 40 percent of the total ancient structures including the already scarce timber could be salvaged from the debris of the collapsed Kasthamandap for reconstruction. Most of the structures were damaged by rain and bad weather because they were not kept under proper protection. Last month, they were shifted to Hanuman Dhoka premises for safekeeping.

KRC is a local initiative started on May 14 to reconstruct the Kasthamandap and has reached an agreement with Kathmandu Metropolitan City to complete the reconstruction in three years. 


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