KATHMANDU, JUNE 20
Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s Mayor Balen Shah has announced that the historic Bag Durbar, which was destroyed in the devastating 2015 earthquake, will be retrofitted.
Reconstruction of Bag Durbar, which used to house the office of KMC, remained in limbo after KMC’s former mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya decided to rebuild the historic heritage in modern style.
This, decision had attracted widespread protest from the conservationists, who argued that destroying the historic durbar to erect modern buildings was against the archaeological law and principle.
KMC’s earlier decision to demolish the old mansion was halted following the 3 October 2018 order of the Supreme Court, which had stayed the KMC’s decision.
After that, the fate of Bag Durbar was pushed in the dark as the local government did not show interest in rebuilding the structure following the archaeological principle.
However, Mayor Shah today, presenting the plan and programmes for the fiscal 2022-23 proposed to retrofit the building and shift KMC’s office to its original place.
This has given a glimmer of hope that the historic building will retain its original style.
Bag Durbar, which was already in a dilapidated condition before the 2015 earthquakes, has been left unattended all this time. The walls of the heritage building, which is claimed to have been built between 1803 to 1804 has started falling at various sections and the floors are filled with monsoon rain, and plants are growing in every nook and corner of the mansion.
In December 2017, KMC had, at a press meet, said it would demolish the building as it was impossible to retrofit.
However, archaeologists and conservationist had taken to the streets against the decision.
According to Ancient Monument Preservation Act, all kinds of architectural buildings, private or public, older than 100 years should be considered archaeologically important and the government should preserve it. But, the KMC, earlier, had presented the wrong facts about the building saying it was built after the 1937 earthquakes.
But, despite KMC’s claim the SC had said that even if the building was built after 1937 it should be the duty of the government to conserve the building.