90% work of Dharahara project complete

Kathmandu, Feb. 6: The new Dharahara tower was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on April 24, 2021, on the eve of the sixth memorial day of the Gorkha earthquake. 

However, the construction works on the project have not been completed even almost three years after its hasty inauguration. Reconstruction of the tower had begun since December 27, 2018 with an objective of completing by December 27, 2020.  

Over the years, the deadline was extended six times, with the latest deadline expiring on January 16, and it is yet to be completed.   

According to the construction company, it will take at least five more months to complete the Dharahara project. The construction company is hopeful to complete it by September this year. As the deadline of the project has already ended, it needs to be extended to complete the remaining works, said engineer Sajan Awal.   

“We have demanded extension of the deadline till September. Approximately 90 per cent physical and 99 per cent financial progress have been achieved,” he said.   

The landscaping work of the rooftop garden of triple basement parking, colour, the works of souvenir shops of the double basement of the new Dharahara tower, and works of a four-storey museum, fixing electricity lines, and other decoration works are now running at the construction site, he said.          

The Dharahara project spans over an area of 42 ropanis of land. There will be a garden around the Dharahara with rest space. The complex will have a four-storey museum, colourful fountains, a rooftop garden, souvenir shops and other structures. The triple basement parking will have the capacity to accommodate 400 vehicles and 700 motorcycles. 

Engineer Awal said that the preservation works of the remains of old Dharahara and Sundhara have not moved yet. 

In the case of preserving the remains of old Dharahara, Awal said, “We are waiting for the decision of the Department of Archaeology (DoA). The department has not provided any instruction yet.”

“We are not working on the preservation of remains of old Dharahara and Sundhara, as the Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU) and DoA have not provided any instruction,” he added. 

Kosh Nath Adhikari, project director of Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU), said that the DoA has not approved the design works of CLPIU nor has it given any instruction to preserve the remains of Dharahara.  

In the case of Sundhara preservation, locals have demanded that water be supplied to the Sundhara from natural sources but no water source is said to be traced in Tundikhel ground. The water level was found below 40 feet from the surface level, even though it was required to find water source 12 feet below to supply water to Sundhara naturally, he said. 

Around 90 to 92 per cent physical works of the new Dharahara project have been completed so far. To extend the deadline, discussions are being held with the concerned authority, he said.  

The contract for the reconstruction of Dharahara project was awarded at Rs. 3.48 billion. 

A triple basement underground parking has been built at the General Post Office section. The top part of the third floor of the underground parking will be developed as a park having greenery with various facilities like water fountain and stone tap.  

The four-storey museum is being built at the Department of Minting of Nepal Rastra Bank. After completing the project works, a printing machine of the Mint Office will be kept for the visitors to observe, according to the construction company.

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