Only 30 percent work on Gorkha Durbar completed as deadline endsThe Department of Archaeology is preparing to extend the contract.
The Visit Nepal 2020 campaign is just around the corner, but Gorkha Durbar—a major tourist destination in Gorkha district—is still in ruins.
The reconstruction of the historic palace, which was ravaged by the 2015 earthquake, began two years ago. The government authorities had awarded the Rs 43.7 million project’s contract to Pachali Siwa JV in 2017, with the deadline set for mid-December 2019.
According to officials at the Gorkha Durbar Herchaha Adda, the government office that oversees the palace’s maintenance, the project contract ended a week ago, but only around 30 percent of the work has been completed so far.
“We heard that the Department of Archaeology is considering to extend the deadline of the contract agreement. However, we have yet to receive further notice,” said Hari Bhusal, the chief of the Gorkha Durbar Herchaha Adda.
The palace with historical, archaeological and religious importance was built by Ram Shah, well known for his judicial reforms, in 1666 BS. The four-storey palace, perched atop a ridge, includes a vantage point with stunning views of Manaslu, Annapurna and Ganesh Himal. The palace houses many smaller temples, including the Kalika temple and the mausoleum of Guru Gorakhnath, the spiritual saint of the Shah dynasty.
Meanwhile, locals and tourism entrepreneurs claimed that the reconstruction was delayed due to the negligence of the contractor and the lackadaisical response of the Department of Archaeology.
“The historic palace remains in ruins even after four years of the devastating earthquake. The general public should exert pressure on authorities to expedite the reconstruction work,” said Motilal Shrestha, a visitor.
“Works on the ground floor is in the final stage. The reconstruction project can be completed within eight months if the contractor carries out work in full swing,” said Bhusal. “We should not blame the contractors only, as there were various technical problems and a shortage of timber.”
Sushil Babu Shrestha, a representative of the contractor company, said the reconstruction work would be completed within the next six months to one year.
“The work on the ground floor will be completed within a week. We are working in full swing to complete the work within the next six months,” Shrestha said.
With the delay in the reconstruction work of the Gorkha Durbar, the rebuilding of Kalika Temple, Rangamahal, Sitalpati and Damai Pati has been left in limbo. Bhusal, however, said the reconstruction of Sitalpati would resume soon.
“The government has allocated Rs 5 million for its reconstruction. The tender process will begin soon,” said Bhusal.