Sharmila Pathak, KATHMANDU: Now the reconstruction of quake-damaged Dharahara has been completed, those willing to savor a panoramic 360 degrees view of Kathmandu Valley may not wait any longer.
Come April 24 and the 22-storey rebuilt tower shall be inaugurated on the eve of the day when the 7.6-magnititude Gorkha Earthquake had rattled the country in 2015. Currently, the newly built Dharahara is being painted while all the decoration related works will be completed by coming Tuesday. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is scheduled to inaugurate the Dharahara at 11:00 am on that day, informed Raju Manandhar of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA). Dharahara was first built by first Prime Minister of Nepal Bhimsen Thapa in 1835 BS.
Heritage expert Manandhar shared that Dharahara will not be open for public for some more time since other structures were under-construction. He opined that it may take until November for the Dharahara to be opened for the public. Preparations are afoot to launch the newly built quake-resistant building by the Head of the Government. The reconstruction of quake-ravaged Dharahara had hit a snag for the first three years after it was reduced to the rubbles. The reconstruction process gained momentum after PM Oli officially inaugurated the reconstruction of Dharahara on 27 December, 2018.
The physical progress of Dharahara reconstruction has reached 60 per cent. Dharahara Reconstruction Project’s Manager Shyam Shrestha shared that they had requested for 21 months as an additional time to complete the remaining construction works in the Dharahara site but the NRA only allowed 8 additional months.
“Main construction work of the project will complete in time. But the project deadline may be extended to complete its beautification and construction of a parking lot,” said manager Shrestha.
Raman Construction was awarded the contract to reconstruct Dharahara at an estimated cost of Rs 3.48 billion. So far, 2.10 billion has been spent on the project. Two elevators will be installed in the tower and one can use traditional steps as well. Spanning 42 ropanis of lands, the premises of the tower will have a garden, a museum, a colourful fountain, an exhibition hall, a parking lot, shops and a stone spout.
The children and elderly people friendly 22-storey tower is 72 meters in height and its foundation is 48 feet. Those wishing to study and meditate in the tower will have facility for this.
The 18th floor of the monument will have an observation room and the Dharahara premises will feature a museum, a water fountain, a garden, a restaurant and an advance parking lot. The parking area will have the capacity of accommodating 350 four wheelers and 6,000 two-wheelers.
Dharahara, which originally had 18 storeys was reduced to 11 floors following the 1990 BS ( 1934 AD) major earthquake. The historic monument was built in 1832 BS on the initiation of Bhimsen Thapa.
According to Postal Services Department’s information officer Yagya Raj Bhatta, the Goshawara Postal Office has been shifted to the premises of Babarmahal-based Department of Supplies.
The Goshwara Postal Office was being operated from Sundhara since 50 years. A three-storey underground parking facility will be built in the area which is presently occupied by the postal office building. The Department of Printing under the Nepal Rastra Bank has also been shifted to Babarmahal. The Employees Provident Fund building remains as it is while the preparations are on to further conserve a historic stone spout there, according to manager Shrestha. Works are on to ensure the continuous water flow from the ancient stone spout with the sewage management system.
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