Singha Durbar Restoration: NRA invites EoI for structural assessment, retrofittingThe National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has invited expressions of interest (EoI) from Nepali consulting firms for assessing structural condition and retrofitting the west lounge of Singha Durbar.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has invited expressions of interest (EoI) from Nepali consulting firms for assessing structural condition and retrofitting the west lounge of Singha Durbar.
The NRA issued a notice last week with a motive of studying the appropriate means to restore the historic edifice built by Chandra Shumsher Rana in 1908. The building serves as the major administrative building and had the Office of the Prime Minister until it was severely damaged by the Gorkha Earthquake in 2015.
The Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU) under the Ministry of Urban Development had completed the first phase of detailed damage assessment of the west lounge.
“The study will give us a clear picture based on which the west lounge will be retrofitted,” said Rajuman Manandhar, joint secretary at the NRA.
According to him, the study estimated to cost Rs20 million will give a clear picture about all the factors, including cost of retrofitting. As the authority is in favour of preserving such historic buildings, it is expected to direct a consultant to conduct the study keeping the idea of retrofitting in the core. “Buildings like Singha Durbar reflect our history. Hence, the consultant will be asked to ensure that they come up with a best design to retrofit the historic palace,” Manandhar said.
A debate has been raging on whether to reconstruct or retrofit the damaged historical buildings since the massive 7.8-magnitude quake struck Nepal in 2015.
Earlier, Digicon Engineering Consult Pvt Ltd, a consultant commissioned by the Ministry of Urban Development, to study on eight historical buildings, had recommended reconstruction of Singha Durbar claiming that retrofiting alone would not be adequate enough. However, conservation experts, archaeologist and culture experts had strongly questioned the Digicon report, saying that the consultant had floated the recommendation without even bothering to test the bricks and soil.
Subsequently, the government formed a seven-member committee to oversee the reconstruction of the western part of Singha Durbar.
According to Manandhar, the selected consultant will have to complete an inception report within two weeks from the date of signing the contract; a preliminary study report including the necessary number and type of tests required within three weeks; a draft report including drawings and complete inventory information within five weeks and the final assessment report within 45 days.
With an aim to complete the task at the earliest, the NRA has designated proper timing to complete the structural condition assessment, intervention design and procurement of works and construction supervision and defect liability period.
The overall task is expected to be completed within 13 months from the date of commencement, said Manandhar, adding that the process of calling EoI for retrofitting the historic Gallery Baithak was also in the final stage. “The notice will likely be published before the Dashain festival.”