June 29, 2018 03:15 AM NPT
By: DIYA DHAKAL
KATHMANDU, June 29: The government’s plan to put the crown of former Shah kings of Nepal on public display has been postponed multiple times. This decision was first made some eight years ago when the Narayanhiti Palace Museum was first opened to the public. But the decision has not been implement so far.
Authorities responsible for managing the museum and the officials at the tourism ministry have been blaming each other behind the delay in putting the crown used by the former kings in display for the public. They have cited some technical problems, lack of coordination among the responsible bodies and bureaucratic red tape for the delay.
The palace had sent a follow-up letter to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation in this regard on March 27, 2015 but the devastating earthquake of April 25 the same year diverted national interest and the plan could not be finalized.
Museum chief Rohit Kumar Dhungana said that misunderstandings between the government bodies and the museum in addition to the natural disaster led to their failure in implementing the decision.
It has been said that the royal crown will be up for public viewing tentatively within the next three months.
“The plan was forwarded to the concerned ministry in this month. We believe that the implementation will take place within three months,” Dhungana said.
Dhungana asserted that the crown would be up for display before Dashain (mid-October).
“We have already submitted our proposal and are now waiting for the ministry to allocate budget,” he said, implying that the museum had done its job and is now waiting for the government’s response.
When asked about the delay in releasing the budget required for arranging display of crown, tourism ministry’s spokesperson Ghanshyam Upadhyay said that it was because of ‘security reasons’.
“I don’t know about the budget issue. But security could be one of the reasons behind the delay in displaying the crown,” he said.
Matters regarding the display of the crown thus continue to remain controversial as both parties seem unwilling to take the blame.
Many visitors expect to see the crown when they visit the historic site. Abhi Mandal, 21, is among the thousands of visitors who are eagerly waiting to see the crown. Mandal, who has been to the museum fifteen times already said, “I really want to see the crown face to face, with my own eyes.”
Another visitor Sandesh Shrestha expressed his disappointment toward the delay in displaying the crown.
Museum officials believe that displaying the crown, an important symbol of Nepalese monarchy and an object of great public interest can greatly increase the number of visitors.
A total of 2,811,098 visitors have been to the museum so far since it was first opened. This has helped the museum collect a total revenue of Rs 240 million.
The museum has been attracting Nepali citizens the most besides visitors from China and SAARC nations. Among international tourists, Indians are the majority.
The crown was handed over to the government in 2009 following the abolition of the 240-year-old monarchy in Nepal in 2006.
The crown is kept inside the Narayanhiti Palace Museum under the protection of Nepalese Army personnel.