The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is all set to initiate the reconstruction of historic Dharahara within this fiscal year. The authority is likely to issue an Expression of Interest (EoI) for selecting contractor this week.
According to the authority, the reconstruction will be carried out by mobilizing funds from the government as well as the general public.
The nine-story tower, built in 1832 by then Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa, was destroyed in devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015. “We are in the final leg of publishing an EoI for the construction. Domestic as well as international companies can participate in the bidding process,” Raju Man Manandhar, joint secretary at NRA told the Post. The foundation stone of the historic site will be laid within this fiscal year, the NRA said. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who has been rallying behind the reconstruction of the historic tower, is expected to lay the foundation stone. “The reconstruction process will be carried out based on the vision of PM Oli. We will seek funds from the general public for the reconstruction of this historic site,” Manandhar added.
Even as the country has marked the third anniversary of Gorkha Earthquake, there has hardly been any concrete move towards rebuilding the historic sites. Not just Dharahara, but reconstruction efforts of a majority of historic sites, including Kasthamandap and Rani Pokhari, have also been moving at snail’s pace.
The NRA said it would urge the Nepal Telecom (NT), which had earlier pledged Rs 1 billion for the reconstruction of Dharahara, to transfer the fund as soon as the process of selecting contractor would be over. The state-owned telecom giant had backtracked on the project following disagreement with the NRA on certain issues.
According to The Kathmandu Post, the NT had earlier proposed that it would invest around Rs 8 billion and manage the property for 30 years to recover its investment. But the NRA and the Department of Archaeology expressed their reservations over NT’s plan to use the structure for the commercial purpose. As the design of the proposed tower has already been finalised, the NRA said, the construction process would be completed within two years.