The Kathmandu Metropolitan City is preparing to reconstruct infrastructures damaged by the recent earthquakes in preparation for the weeklong Indra Jatra festival commencing from September 25.
KMC officials said the damaged roads through which the chariot procession would pass will be repaired.
Narendra Bilas Bajracharya, chief of Hanumandhoka Durbar Area Conservation Program, said the streets in the southern parts — Chikamugal, Gofala Tol, Bharma Tol, Hyumat, Jaisi Degal, Kohiti, Bhimsenthan –and northern parts of the city — Pyafal, Yethka, Nardevi, Raktakali, Pyangal, Nyokha, Bangemuda, Ason, Balkumari, Macchendra baha, Indrachowk, Makhhan — will be repaired for the chariot procession.
“Temples and monuments along the streets through which the chariot procession would pass will also be painted. Likewise, decorative lights and colorful prayer flags will be installed for the festival,” said Bajracharya. However, precarious and vulnerable houses supported by wooden poles are likely to obstruct the chariot procession in the southern part of the city. The supporting poles and beams have narrowed the route for the chariot procession.
Quake damaged Gaddi Baithak, a building at Basantapur, where the procession would start is still in a sorry state, while KMC, Guthi Sansthan and other local stakeholders have yet to come up with an alternative venue.
Gautam Shakya, chairman of the Indrajatra Management Committee, expressed concern over the sorry state of the route for the chariot procession. “The government should repair the roads damaged by the earthquake. The Indradhwaja pole also needs be installed by the KMC at Basantapur,” he said.
Shakya said devotees from 29 guthis have already made preparations for the cultural procession of the chariot. The festival is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists to commemorate Indra, the ancient Aryan god of rain.
Image source: Acethehimalaya