Four reasons to demolish Singha Durbar: Report
Ministry of Urban Development has concluded that the main building of the quake-damaged Singha Durbar needs to be demolished.
The recommendation experts deployed by Central Level Project Implementation Unit of the Ministry conducted study on Singha Durbar. The Project chief Shivahari Sharma concluded that a new building needs to be constructed as its existing structures was damaged in last year's Gorkha quake in such a way that they could not be retrofitted.
"The study conducted twice has prepared a report which concluded that the building has to be demolished," Sharma said. "The report is based on studies. But we have not made such decision yet."
The Unit had entrusted Digicon Company to provide recommendation on the reconstruction of Singha Durbar. The Company prepared the report by conducting study for 4 months on Singha Durbar, buildings of Babbarmahal, Kesharmahal and Central Child Welfare Board.
According to Sharma, the building of Singha Durbar has to be demolished under 4 different grounds.
A quake-damaged house is categorized on five grades. The Grade V comprises fully damaged buildings, Grade IV includes those damaged structures which are not collapsed, Grade III and II include those structures which can be retrofitted and restored. Grade I comprises structures which have normal damages. The study finds that existing building of Singha Durbar is categorized under Grade IV. Those buildings that fall under Grade IV and V need to be demolished.
Secondly, veranda of Singha Durbar is in precarious state due to continuous rain that fall from upper part of the building since one and half year. Its building is currently covered by plastic but it will help save the building from getting damped. The damped walls have to be demolished completely. The report says retrofitting alone will not help save the building.
Thirdly, architecture of the building cannot be saved even if retrofitting is done. This means the building cannot be retained in its current form.
Fourth reason as per the report states that the building will not remain strong despite retrofitting in the building.
"The report says a new building needs to be constructed according to the existing one," Sharma said, "We've submitted the report after completing all the governmental procedures. However, it is not obligatory to do accordingly the report and we can conduct other reports. The report is not the final one."
Department of Archeology argued that Urban Ministry's report is incorrect and claimed that it will conduct its own study.
Managing Director of Department Bheshnarayan Dahal accused the Ministry of conducting study with a motive of demolishing the structure. "Experts have suggested conducting additional studies as they could not forge consensus on the report," Dahal said, "We cannot back the report that suggests demolishing the archeological heritages."
According to him, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has shown its readiness to retrofit the structure instead of demolishing it. "It has said that it will help if necessary," he said, "The Department is holding discussion to conduct study on Singha Durbar by raising fund by itself."
Sharma said, "As the company had conducted the study by mobilizing Nepali engineers, additional study can be conducted by foreign experts who may also suggest for retrofitting."
CoAS Chhetri returns home from US
Chief of Army Staff Rajendra Chhetri returned home Friday upon completing an official visit to the United States of America. Chief of General Staff of the Nepalese Army Baldev Raj Mahat welcomed the Army Chief at the Tribhuvan International Airport. A contingent of the army also presented a guard of honor to CoAS Chhetri on the occasion.
Militants attack Christians in Egypt, killing at least 26
Masked gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of the Egyptian capital on Friday, killing at least 26 people, including children, and wounding 25, officials said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
- Oli bats for consensus government
Election wave sweeping across Parsa
People of Parsa, a district in the southern plain, are excited about the upcoming second-phase of local-level election scheduled for June 14 in 41 districts of four Provinces no. 1, 2, 5 and 7. Political parties are making efforts to nominate election candidates and people are talking about the names of possible candidates.
- UML continues House obstruction, next meeting at 1 pm Saturday
Oops! Deuba does it again
Deuba and Dahal have made a mockery of the constitutional provision of impeachment as a weapon of last resort with its preemptive registration as a tactical move to stop CJ Karki from delivering justice. This will set a bad precedent and there will be more such tactical use of impeachment in the future considering how justices at the SC are being appointed in political quotas in recent times.
Challenges for reconstruction
One of the major challenges faced in the reconstruction process of Nepal is the absence of elected local government. Lack of government in local level was reflected in the major pre-disaster and post-disaster events, where it took months to reach the affected region and still no widely-accepted data is available. In the absence of an elected local government, top-down approach of governance has its own accountability deficit.
Apil KC/Keshab Sharma
Jhamsikhel as I knew
Hari-ko-pasal, right at the said junction used to be the place to buy any household item ranging from food grains and other household items. There was nothing that he did not have. Most often he loved keeping his customers waiting, more so if they were younger. He kept his client engaged with jokes and tole gossip.
Empowering local bodies
It is common to rent a room or two based on nothing more than a verbal contract. There are two types of owners. There are many who rent legal properties informally and those who rent out illegally built ones. The rental space demand is so much that owners openly flout bylaws by building more number of floors than approved. It is difficult, as it is, to bring both type of owners within the system.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.