Dolakha Bazaar is being rebuilt, but it is losing its heritageThe reconstruction of the heritage settlement in Dolakha Bazaar is being carried out haphazardly in the absence of guidelines.
The reconstruction of the heritage settlement in Dolakha Bazaar is being carried out haphazardly in the absence of guidelines. The guidelines for the reconstruction of the settlement damaged in the 2015 earthquake has not been sent by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA).
The settlement has lost its traditional aesthetics as the newly built houses do not cater to conserving traditional architecture.
“We want to build back our settlement with the traditional designs that our ancestors used, but the concerned authority has not guided us through the process,” Ward Chairman Birajman Shrestha said.
The devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015 destroyed temples, Devals, Pati Pauwa (public shelters), Dabali and other traditional houses in Dolakha Bazaar. Bhimeshwor Municipality-2 ward office stated that it plans to construct 365 houses resembling the heritages of Kirat, Malla and Shah dynasties.
Tirtha Narayan Joshi, a local teacher who is well-versed in the history of Dolakha, said that Dolakha Bazaar used to have 35 Patis.
“The historic monuments that Dolakha housed have turned into dust. Most of the lands of the Patis have been converted into private properties now,” said Joshi.
Locals have voiced out their worries about the future of their cultures and traditions. Charitra Krishna Shrestha, a ward member, said that the concerned authority is being a mute spectator while the heritage sites are being encroached upon.
As per the data of the ward office, 65 percent of houses in the Bazaar have already been constructed as per the models provided by the NRA. Earlier, the NRA had pledged to provide additional Rs 50,000 to locals for the reconstruction of the heritage settlement, but the money has not been allocated yet. People reconstructing their houses in the bazaar area have only received Rs 300,000 in three instalments so far.
However, Sushil Gyawali, executive officer of the NRA, said that they have already prepared the guidelines for the reconstruction of the heritage settlement.