Conservationists give Khadgi grass in novel protestLocals, students and heritage conservationists on Tuesday staged a novel protest by offering ‘grass’ to Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC).
Locals, students and heritage conservationists on Tuesday staged a novel protest by offering ‘grass’ to Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC).
The group cut grass at the historic Rani Pokhari in the morning, and went to KMC office and presented it along with a memorandum to Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi.
The group did this unique protest to remind KMC officials the plight of Rani Pokhari pond area built in 1670AD by King Pratap Malla, one of the leading monarchs of the Malla dynasty that ruled Nepal for more than 600 years.
Receiving the memorandum from the protesters, Khadgi assured them that construction and repairs of Rani Pokhari would proceed as per its original form based on expert committee’s recommendation.
Rani Pokhari area is currently thriving with activity with several groups cleaning it. The cleaning campaign marked Sithi Nakha - the day Newaris clean their wells and ponds. Nepal Police, Nepal Army, locals and students participated in the cleaning.
Tri-Chandra College student Saraswati Thapa told Post, “Rani Pokhari has to be saved. It should be reconstructed according to its original form because it is our heritage and has historical value.” She took part in the grass-cutting task with other students this morning.
Activists had protested against the construction of a 10- feet concrete wall in the southeast part of the pond last December. The KMC scrapped its earlier decision following this protest.
The metropolis recently formed an 11-member expert panel under the aegis of the Department of Archaeology (DoA) Director General Bishnu Raj Karki. KMC decided to rebuild Rani Pokhari in its original form after this expert panel’s advice.
Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya, who had vowed to start the work in Rani Pokhari from May 29, has left for China on Tuesday.
Talking to the Post Deputy Khadgi said, the reconstruction task could not resume after the construction company Worldwide Kandel KN KG JV filed a court case citing losses and against KMC’s decision to hire another contractor to remove the concrete and resume reconstruction work.
Worldwide Kandel began reconstructing the pond in 2016. So far, Rs 25 million has been spent on restoring Rani Pokhari, damaged by the earthquake on April 25, 2015.
No substantial restoration work is evident. The only development that has taken without cost to the metropolis is weeds and shrubs.
Some activists have vowed to continue the Rani Pokhari cleaning campaign every Saturday.