KMC told to restore Rani Pokhari to its original Malla-era design

January 22, 2018

The Himalayan Times, 22 Jan 2018 

The 11-member committee entrusted with submitting a detailed plan for the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari has suggested to Kathmandu Metropolitan City to restore the pond to its original Malla-era design.

The committee headed by former director general of Department of Archaeology Bishnu Raj Karki was formed on December 28, 2017.
The panel has proposed reconstruction in three phases, along with a long-term plan to maintain water level in the pond.

The report has also suggested removing white painting from the statue of king Pratap Malla and his two sons on the pond’s premises.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been told to carry out detailed research on various structures on the pond’s premises, including the foundation and design of Bal Gopaleshwor temple, in the first phase.

The second phase should be focussed on dismantling the recent and relatively older concrete walls and rebuilding brink embankment, the report suggests.

The third phase should focus on beautification of the pond and opening the temple to public during festivals such as Bhai Tika. The committee has also suggested channelling water source discovered at Jamal into the pond and reviving Changunarayan Jatra.

Authorities have been asked to prohibit deep boring within at least one-kilometre radius of the pond. It has asked the government to regularly clean the pond and maintain biodiversity by turning the pond into natural habitat of fish and swans.

At last, the report has suggested KMC to refrain from use of modern techniques and materials to reconstruct the pond.

The reconstruction of Rani Pokhari remains halted since December 28 after locals launched protest against the use of concrete for its reconstruction and Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s plan to turn the pond into a recreational venue.

The pond was rebuilt time and again after its construction in 1670 by King Pratap Malla.

SC tells govt to submit monthly progress report

KATHMANDU:  The Supreme Court on Sunday asked the government to submit monthly progress report on the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari to ensure that the historic pond’s originality is not altered.

A division bench of Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli and Justice Hari Krishna Karki issued the order on a writ petition filed by Advocate Dipak Bikram Mishra. The SC also told the court administration to submit the case for hearing after written reply is submitted by the defendants. The court also observed that there was no dispute over the fact that reconstruction of Rani Pokhari should be done in way that does not alter its originality.

The court also said that there was no need for issuing an interim order as the Department of Archaeology had notified the petitioner that traditional style would be followed for the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari and construction work was already halted by Kathmandu Metropolitan City. — HNS