NRA to form a committee to study about the condition of Singha Durbar
January 17, 2017 12:50 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Jan 17: A meeting between experts and the officials from the Department of Archaeology (DoA) and National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) decided to carry out further studies to assess the damage of Singha Durbar caused by the April 2015 earthquake.
The meeting held at NRA office at Singha Durbar on Monday further concluded that the NRA will first form a committee and then hand over the task of studying the condition of the Singha Durbar to it.
The decision to conduct further studies was taken after rejecting the findings of an earlier study carried out by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) which concluded that the administrative building should be demolished and rebuilt in the same form.
“Today's meeting rejected the report prepared by the Ministry of Urban Development and decided to carry out in-depth research on the condition of the Rana-era palace,” said an official at the NRA requesting anonymity. “Most of the participants argued that the ancient palace of such an archaeological value should be preserved for the sake of its architecture.”
According to the concerned officials, the newly appointed NRA CEO Govinda Raj Pokharel also argued that further comprehensive study should be carried out.
The DoA was also planning to hire some experts on its own to conduct research. Officials from the DoA decided to hire experts from Japan, UNESCO and some national experts after many experts from the country raised objection to the findings of the study conducted by the MoUD.
The Singha Durbar, which is the main administrative building of the country, was damaged during the disaster prompting the government to shift the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Defense, the National Planning Commission and other key government agencies away from the building. Currently, the Ministry of Supply and some sections of National Reconstruction Authority and some other offices are serving from the Singha Durbar.
As the earthquakes badly damaged the Rana-era palace, the offices were shifted to other buildings inside the Singha Durbar premises.
The then Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher Rana had built the Singha Durbar in 1903 as his residence. It was designed in a neo-classical design. The palace had over 1,000 rooms arranged around seven quadrangles and was among the largest buildings in South Asia. The front wing of the palace was destroyed by fire in 1973.