NRA forms committee to retrofit Singha Durbar

02/08/2017

KATHMANDU, Feb. 8: The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has formed a committee and tasked it to retrofit the main building of Singha Durbar that used to earlier house the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Defense and the National Planning Commission, among other government offices.

The committee headed by Dr Hariram Parajuli, executive member of the NRA, is tasked with retrofitting the western part of the historic building that was damaged during the earthquakes of 2015.

“Representatives from the Department of the Archeology, the NRA, the Ministry of Urban Development and experts Rohit Ranjitkar, Santosh Shrestha and Rabindra Puri are members of the committee,” said NRA Spokesman Yamlal Bhusal. “The committee will work to restore the building to its original form without demolishing it,” he added.

Also, an advisory committee has been formed which is headed by Govind Pokharel, CEO of the NRA, with an objective to guide the team led by Parajuli. Archeologists and conservationists will be appointed as members in the advisory committee.

The Singha Durbar, which was the main administrative building of the country, was damaged during the disaster prompting the government to shift the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Defense, the National Planning Commission and other key government agencies away from the building. Currently, the Ministry of Supply and some sections of National Reconstruction Authority and some other offices are operating from a part of the building which has been less affected by the earthquakes.

The then Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher Rana had built the Singha Durbar in 1903 as his residence. It was designed in a neo-classical design. The palace had over 1,000 rooms arranged around seven quadrangles and is believed to be among the largest buildings in South Asia at the time. A part of the palace was destroyed by fire in 1973.

Last year, the government had allocated Rs 5 billion for the reconstruction of all the government buildings. According to the government, at least 2,688 government buildings were fully damaged while other 3,779 government houses were partially damaged by the earthquakes.(MR)

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