Youth activists staged a demonstration in Kathmandu on Wednesday protesting against the use of cement in the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari, a 17th-century heritage site destroyed by last year’s earthquake.
They gathered at Shanti Batika of Ratna Park, which is adjacent to the Rani Pokhari pond, carrying placards with slogans such as ‘Save heritage’ and ‘Save our identity’. They demanded that the government halt the haphazard reconstruction immediately, and replace cement with local materials.
They flayed the government for trying to cover up the use of cement by not sharing information about the rebuilding. The government is acting like a dictator,” said Sumana Shrestha, one of the protesters. “It did not even bother to organise a public hearing on this issue.”
Protesters claim that the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is using cement in the Rani Pokhari reconstruction without the Department of Archaeology’s approval.
Balgopaleswor Temple, which stands at the heart of Rani Pokhari, was destroyed by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015. On the first anniversary of the earthquake, President Bidya Bhandari inaugurated the National Reconstruction Campaign from Rani Pokhari.
The KMC has received a budget of Rs 120 million to reconstruct Rani Pokhari, which was built by king Pratap Malla in 1671 to console his bereaved wife after the death of their child.Go back to previous page