Construction work is expected to complete in a month
KATHMANDU, Aug 27: The Rani Pokhari (Queen’s Pond) in the heart of Kathmandu, which was ravaged by the 2015-earthquake, is being reconstructed on a war footing. Though the target was to complete the reconstruction works by early May earlier this year, the goal was not achieved as the work was affected by the outbreak of novel coronavirus back in March. The construction work suffered a manpower crunch due to the lockdown order enforced in a bid to curb the spread of the disease.
The reconstruction work resumed in the third week of May as the government eased the lockdown. But it was affected yet again following the decision of local administration in the Valley to enforce prohibitory orders amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
We have now resumed the remaining works with a few workers, following the safety precautions against the disease,” said managing director of CM Construction, Shant Kumar Shrestha. “We have managed to continue the work despite the hurdles in the supply of construction materials.”
According to Shrestha, the reconstruction of the heritage will be completed within a month at the current pace.
At present, laborers are busy laying stones at the pond and reconstructing the Balgopaleshwor Temple in the middle of the heritage premises.
Purna Bahadur Shrestha, an engineer at the Department of Archaeology, said that they are holding discussions on filling the pond with water. “We will soon decide what type of water will be poured in the historical pond.”
Shrestha also shared that the Balgopaleshwor Temple is also being reconstructed in its original Gumbaj style as it was erected during the reign of the Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher. The temple stands 53 meters high, he added. The pinnacle will be installed within 10 days, according to him.
A joint meeting of the officials from the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), Department of Archaeology (DoA) and Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) had earlier decided to rebuild the temple in its original style. After the meeting, the NRA had handed the responsibility of the reconstruction of the temple to the DoA while the KMC was told to demolish the concrete structure it had constructed to make a new wall and other structures of the 17th-century pond in ancient style.
Malla King Pratap Malla had got this heritage built to please his bereaved queen after the death of their son Chakra Bartendra. A stone inscription was installed at Nhu Pukhu in 1725 BS as the queen ultimately got consoled after five years after the construction of the heritage. Historical records state that water from 108 pilgrimage sites in Nepal and India including Gosaikunda was poured into the pond.