After the closed deal with Raman Construction Pvt Ltd and Chinese Joint Venture partner GIETEC made by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), the reconstruction of Dharahara to be initiated before Tihar, the festival of lights. The authority completed the performance bond and received security pledge from the contractor, paving the way for the reconstruction of the earthquake devastated memorial.
“We have completed all the process and field work will start before the Tihar festival,” NRA Chief Executive Officer, Sushil Gyawali stated. He also added, “The documentation process took a while as we wanted to ensure that there won’t be issues in the days to come.” According to Gyawali, the contractor was initially hesitant to sign a performance bond and maintain security bond as per the legal provisions of the government. “We persuaded them to comply with the government rule and now the project is ready to take off,” he said.
The authority had awarded the project to Raman and GIETC JV in the first week of September. The company had quoted NPR. 3.45 billion for the Dharahara reconstruction project. The amount is around NPR. 1 billion less than the next lowest bid. A consortium of Kalika Construction, Rasuwa Construction, and their Chinese JV partner CICO quoted NPR. 4.39 billion.
The NRA chief added that the authority would soon begin tasks like redirecting of telephone cables and other infrastructure from the construction site. The task of shifting General Post Office that lies next to Dharahara too will begin soon. The authority has also initiated a process to transform settlement around Dharahara in a way that matches the design of the iconic building located at the heart of the city.
According to Gyawali, the idea is to develop the location as a tourism destination. “We had a couple of rounds of discussions with the locals. And they seem positive about it,” he stated, adding that the authority would hold further consultations with the locals to ensure that their perspective is incorporated in the rebuilding process.
“The locals have concerns over rituals that are performed on the Dharahara premises. We’ve got to know that there needs to be a pavement for a specific ritual. And we have initiated a process to incorporate it into the design”, he added.
The nine-story tower, built in 1832 by then Prime Minister, Bhimsen Thapa, was destroyed in the devastating earthquake back in April 25, 2015. The authority had called fresh bids from contractors after Nepal Telecom backed off from the reconstruction of the historic site. The NT had proposed that it would invest around NPR. 8 billion and manage the property for 30 years to recover its investment. But the NRA and the Department of Archaeology expressed their reservations over NT’s plan to use the structure for the commercial purpose.
The telecom giant, however, has agreed to contribute NPR. 1 billion for the reconstruction project. The reconstruction of Dharahara to be initiated before Tihar.
Reference: The Kathmandu Post