Palpa’s Amar Narayan Temple in disrepairThe locals allege that the repair work done on the temple four years ago was not up to the standards.
The roof of Amar Narayan Temple at Narayansthan in Tansen Municipality-2, Palpa collapsed last Wednesday. The three-storied temple had undergone repair works only four years ago.
“The extended roof of the first floor on the south and east side of the pagoda-styled temple collapsed with a loud noise,” said Uma Shankar Pokharel, the priest of the temple.
The Amar Narayan Temple was built by Kaji Amar Singh Thapa about two centuries ago during the Nepal-British War in 1806. Thapa had brought craftsmen from Kathmandu to build the temple.
“The Amar Narayan Temple was renovated by the Department of Archeology from 2015 to 2018 under the supervision of Tansen Municipality. During the renovation, the uppermost roof was covered in brass and the Gajur in gold. The old worn out woods were replaced while the damaged ones were repaired,” said Pokhrel.
According to locals, the temple, which survived the earthquake of 1934, has wooden carvings of archaeological significance.
Since the collapse of a part of the structure on Wednesday, the temple has been closed to the public.
“The western and northern side of the temple are also at risk of collapsing. We can’t allow the public to enter the temple premises since it is risky,” said Pokharel.
Chief District Officer Jagannath Pant and Tansen Mayor Ashok Kumar Shahi visited the temple to inspect the damage. The Department of Archaeology was also informed about the collapse and two engineers from Kapilvastu, Lumbini carried out the survey on Thursday morning.
According to Bishnu Pathak, an engineer at the Department of Archeology, the records of the wreckage have been kept in a safe place. “The temple contains valuable wooden materials and ancient carvings,” he said.
Meanwhile, the locals allege that the temple’s roof collapsed as the repair work done four years ago was not up to the standards.
“A complaint has been lodged with the concerned authority against the construction company for carrying out substandard work,” said Varun Regmi, ward chairman of Tansen Municipality-2.
“At the time of the reconstruction, the locals had complained to the stakeholders about the poor quality of work being done by the contractor,” said Narayan Prasad Koirala, chairman of the temple management committee. “The municipality, Department of Archeology, and the consultant engineer had ignored us back then. There was sheer negligence and ignorance on the part of the authorities.”
Maheshwar Shrestha, a local resident, said, “The temple has historical and archaeological significance and it is important to take the local people’s input but the concerned authorities did not listen to us.”
The renovation work of the temple was done at a cost of Rs.30 million with loan assistance from the World Bank. The maintenance work was contracted to Prakritik Construction Private Limited, Rupandehi.