Monasteries in Gorkha await reconstruction and renovationJust two monasteries out of 104 have been reconstructed in the last four years.
Reconstruction of the earthquake-ravaged monasteries—which have archaeological and religious significance—has been delayed in Gorkha, the epicentre of the 2015 earthquake.
It has been more than four years since the devastating earthquake but only two of the 104 monasteries destroyed in the disaster in the district have been reconstructed/repaired so far. As many as 91 monasteries were damaged in Chumnubri Rural Municipality alone.
Authorities concerned argue that lack of enough budget and late budget disbursement are the main reasons for the delayed reconstruction and repair of the monasteries. Following a field study, a group of technicians prepared a report stating that 91 of the damaged monasteries need to be reconstructed while 13 others need repair.
According to Ramsharan Acharya, chief at the District Project Implementation Unit of National Reconstruction Authority, the government did not allocate any budget for the reconstruction of monasteries in the fiscal year 2017-18. A total budget of Rs 28.6 million was allocated last year (2018-19) for the same, but only Rs 1 million was spent because of limited time frame.
“We received the budget only in the last month of the fiscal year. Most of the quake-damaged monasteries are in Chumnubri. It takes about 8 to 10 days to reach there and return. The budget could not be used in the last fiscal year due to time restrictions,” said Acharya.
According to him, Rs 725,000 was provided for the reconstruction of Khumche Gompa of Barpak and Rs 290,000 for the repair of Tashi Tsering Gompa in Chumnubri.
For this fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs 152.6 million for the reconstruction and repair of the monasteries in the district. The timely allocation of the budget may speed up the reconstruction process, but the budget might prove to be insufficient to repair and restore all the monasteries, believes Acharya. “Though the budget was allocated for 50 monasteries in the district, the amount won’t be enough for that,” said Acharya, adding that the estimated cost to repair and reconstruct 50 monasteries is Rs 600 million.
The reconstruction has also been delayed due to other technical issues.
“We need the consent of the Department of Archeology for the reconstruction of the historic monasteries. Designs of many monasteries are in the final stage now,” said Acharya.
There are eight monasteries older than 100 years in Gorkha.
In accordance to the guidelines of the National Reconstruction Authority, the federal government will provide the budget for the reconstruction of completely damaged gompas, bihars and stupas that are older than 100 years and occupy more than 2,000 square feet.
The local people and gompa committees expressed their dissatisfaction over the delay in the reconstruction and renovation of the quake-damaged monasteries.
“It has been four years since the earthquake. The authority allocated budget to only 50 gompas this year. There will be many gompas that will not be reconstructed or repaired for want of budget,” said Bishnu Thapa, chairman of Gorkha Baudha Gumba in Satipipal.
It is estimated that it would cost around Rs 20 million for the reconstruction of the Gorkha Baudha Gumba in Satipipal.
Around 1,320 gumbas were damaged in the earthquake across the country. Among them, 895 gumbas need to be reconstructed and 402 gumbas should be renovated.
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