Nepal has completed reconstruction of around 40 percent of cultural and archaeological monuments that were damaged in the earthquake of 2015, according to the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA).
The latest reconstruction update provided by NRA states that, out of a total 891 cultural heritages damaged in the disaster, reconstruction of 380 sites, including 96 within the world heritage sites, and 284 within the other sites, have been completed so far.
A total of Rs 2.12 billion (18.66 million U.S. dollars) has been spent on the rebuilding of these damaged monuments, in the last four years.
We have intensified the reconstruction task of cultural heritages. But it is true that construction has not been in speed pace as compared to other sectors like infrastructures, schools or hospitals, Pitambar Ghimire, joint secretary and NRA spokesperson, said.
Ghimire explained that, the reconstruction of heritage sites faces several challenges, like maintaining originality of the rich heritage, availability of manpower, skilled in art and architecture, availability of traditional construction materials, among others.
Reconstruction of ancient and culturally rich sites requires cooperation from local communities and archaeological experts. We have been trying our best to complete the remaining works soon, Ghimire added.
According to Damodar Gautam, Director General at the Department of Archaeology, at least 150 heritage sites would be constructed in the current fiscal year, for which budget has already been allocated.
Since we have around two years left to complete the overall reconstruction process, we are hopeful that the remaining heritage sites will be built on time.
The major heritage sites being reconstructed currently are Kasthamandap and NineStorey Tower, located in Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, NineStorey Dharahara Tower, Machhindranath temple, Ranipokhari or Queens Pond, among others.
According to the Post Disaster Needs Assessment, conducted by the National Planning Commission, Nepal faced a financial loss of around Rs 806 billion in the earthquake, which is more than onethird of the countrys GDP.
Source: Nam News Network