Locals, conservationists padlock Rani Pokhari reconstruction site

The reconstruction of Rani Pokhari, which has come under fire time and again for the blatant disregard of widely followed norms in conservation of ancient monuments, has been halted following a padlock by local and heritage conservation campaigners on Tuesday.

The move came after the metropolis was found using concrete for building a 10-foot boundary wall on the southeastern side of the historic pond, drawing criticism from heritage conservationists and locals.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Ward no 28 Chairman Bhairam Khadgi along with locals and several heritage conservationists padlocked the reconstruction site as a protest against insensitive decision on part of the metropolis to use concrete to build the wall around it.

They have also barred some three dozen workers, who were employed by the metropolis to carry out reconstruction works, from entering the ancient heritage site.

Meanwhile, KMC Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi along with heritage conservation experts had reached the heritage site to conduct a field study of the quake-damaged monument.

The government ordered the KMC to hand over the reconstruction project to the Department of Archaeology (DoA) last year, following widespread criticism from conservation experts and Unesco for using concrete pillars in the construction of the temple.

As per the Ancient Monument Preservation Act, any historic buildings and heritage sites that are over a hundred years old have to be preserved in their original form.

The KMC’s responsibility has since been limited to the reconstruction works on the historic pond and beautification of the outer infrastructure.

Rani Pokhari, or Nhu Pukhu (new pond) in Nepal Bhasa, was built in 1670 AD by King Pratap Malla in memory of his son, to appease his wife.

source :The kathmandu post