KATHMANDU, Jan 19: January 16 marked the completion of three years since a foundation stone for the reconstruction of famous historic site Rani Pokhari in the heart of Kathmandu was laid.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari laid the foundation stone for reconstruction of the historical site and an ancient pond on January 16, 2016 as the marker of the beginning of the works to restore the historic heritage site dating back to the Malla-era which was massively damaged by the 2015 April earthquake. But sadly, the progress is nil to date. Earlier, it was declared that the site would be restored and brought into use by the Tihar festival last year.
The Kathmandu Metropolis holds the responsibility to rebuild the site and it has already called for tender for the project thrice and is preparing for the fourth bidding. As told by KMC office spokesperson Ishwarman Dangol, three years were spent in facing and tackling disputes emerged in regard with rebuilt standard.
The KMC faced a widespread criticism even from the people's level for its decision to use concrete materials in the reconstruction works and finally an agreement to restore the site to its original structure put an end to such conflict. Being based on a study of an experts' group, it has been agreed to rebuild the Ranipokhari on the Granthakut architectural style.
Presently the area covered by the pond has turned into a dried land. The National Reconstruction Authority has claimed that the site would be returned to its previous position by upcoming Tihar festival. Before the quake, there was a ritual to keep the site open for public on the day of Bhaitika, the fifth day of Tihar and for the Chhath celebrations.
NRA chief Sushil Gyawali said the reconstruction works would go smoothly as there remained no issue after all regarding the rebuild standard. It created a widespread debate in the past, but the issue had been settled out.
The KMC owns the responsibility of developing a system in a traditional design in the pond's basin to reserve the water and building the boundary walls. The Department of Archaeology will rebuild the temples situating in the site.
The inscriptions read that king Pratap Malla build the Ranipokhari to console his queen grieving for their son Chakrawatendra who died untimely. It was built in 1727 BS. The accounts of historians are that water harvested from 108 sacred sites was put in the pond. The king also decided to build temples of Hindu deities on the four corners of the pond. RSS