Jagadamba Steels, the sister organization of Shankar Group, has proposed to the government that it would rebuild the historic Dharahara — a popular landmark in Kathmandu Valley — which was destroyed by the earthquake of April 25.
The company has already registered a formal proposal for Dharahara reconstruction at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM).
Officials of Jagadamba Steels told Republica that they would rebuild the iconic structure utilizing earthquake-resistant technology by mobilizing their own resources. “We are waiting for the government nod,” Sahil Agrawal, chairman of Jagadamba Steels, told Republica. “If given go-ahead, we will rebuild Dharahara as per the design finalized by the government with our investment.”
Agrawal said they were likely to hold a formal meeting with government officials to discuss the issue on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, government officials seem reluctant to allow private sector to rebuild the historic monument.
Speaking with Republica, Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general of Department of Archeology (DoA), said that the recent earthquake has physically damaged hundreds of cultural heritage sites including Dharahara. “DoA is the authorized agency to reconstruct these heritage sites and we are capable of doing that on our own,” Dahal said, adding, “The government, however, will have the final say on the issue.”
Dahal also said DoA will soon make a concrete plan to begin reconstruction of physically damaged cultural heritage sites. The department will prepare a white paper and begin reconstruction works after it is approved by the government.
Dharahara was built in 1825 during the regime of Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa. The monument had sustained damage in the earthquake of 1933 too. It, however, was reconstructed in 1935 as per the old design.