Damaged historic monuments: Rebuilding slow but on courseThe devastating earthquake last year flattened scores of heritage monuments, mostly in Kathmandu Valley.
The devastating earthquake last year flattened scores of heritage monuments, mostly in Kathmandu Valley.
When life gradually returned to normalcy, and people gathered strength to come to terms with the devastation caused by the disaster which killed nearly 9,000 people, injured over 20,000 and destroyed tens of thousands of houses, concerns grew whether the destroyed heritage monuments would ever be restored.
Almost nine months after the disaster, the Department of Archaeology began calling for tender for the reconstruction of 115 heritage sites across the country.
“Reconstruction of 115 heritage sites across the country will begin this year,” DoA Director General Bhesh Narayan Dahal said. “Rs780 million has been allocated for the purpose this fiscal year.”
According to the DoA, a total of 754 historical, cultural and religious monuments in 20 districts were damaged by the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks. Among them, 133 were destroyed and 621 sustained varied degrees of damage.
The Post Disaster Needs Assessment of the National Planning Commission had estimated that Rs 20.56 billion would be required to rebuild the damaged monuments.
Apart from DoA’s budget, the government has allocated Rs 2 billion, envisioning a separate Heritage Fund for which contributions will be collected from Nepalis around the world through ‘Our Heritage-Our Responsibility’ campaign.
According to Dahal, it would take five to seven years to reconstruct the heritage structures. Vajrayogini and Khadgayogini temples in Sankhu; Dashavatar and Bansagopal temples in Basantapur; Taleju temple in Patan, Janga Hiranya temple in Tripureshwor, Bhimsen temple in Pharping, Anantapur temple at Swayambhu and Gujeshwori temple in the Pashupati area are some of the heritage structures that will be rebuilt this year, said Dahal.
Reconstruction of individual structures in all of valley’s seven World Heritage Sites—Swoyambhunath Stupa, Changu Narayan Mandir, Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Mandir and Durbar Squares of Basantapur, Patan and Bhaktapur—are also being reconstructed.