Nuwakot: The reconstruction of the earthquake-damaged Nuwakot Durbar, also known as the seven-storey palace, has finally taken off with the help of the Chinese government.
A Chinese team of technicians started erecting scaffolding from the main gate of the historic palace. Two huts have also been constructed on the premises to store necessary construction materials required for the reconstruction.
“The reconstruction work has begun at Nuwakot Durbar. After completing the reconstruction work here, the team will immediately start the reconstruction of the Tulaja Bhawani Temple,” said Rajan Silwal, who has been working with the Chinese team as a language interpreter. The Chinese government had pledged to help reconstruct the Nuwakot Durbar soon after the devastating earthquake in 2015 damaged the historic palace. The local people demanded the immediate reconstruction, as the structure, with its centuries-old architecture, was on the verge of collapse. Technicians from the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage have been involved in the reconstruction, along with three Chinese technicians and 10 Nepalis who are currently working in the reconstruction work.
According to Silwal, palace walls will be repaired, and decayed and weakened supporting struts will be replaced with new ones. The authorities concerned have planned to bring Sal timber from Chitwan for the reconstruction work.
Silwal quoted the Chinese team as saying that the technicians’ first work will be to protect the dilapidated palace from monsoon rains. The reconstruction works will gather momentum after a few months, he added.
The palace is located atop a hill overlooking Samari, Dhikure, and Thansing valleys. It was constructed by the then King Prithvi Narayan Shah and was used as an administrative headquarters after the annexation of Nuwakot in 1744.
The locals, who were dejected because the government authorities failed to take any concrete initiatives for the reconstruction even after four years of the disaster, are now happy. “Reconstruction of the palace has finally started. The historic monument of Nuwakot will be protected now,” said Surendra Kumar Shahi.
Because of the palace’s state, the palace walls had been held steady with iron poles since the 2015 quake. Visitors were also barred from entering the dilapidated palace. The surrounding buildings like Rangamahal, Garadghar, Lampati, Setopati and Bishnu Temple were also destroyed in the quake.
The National Reconstruction Authority had signed an agreement with the Chinese government to reconstruct the heritage sites of Nuwakot including the seven-storey palace.
By Krishna Thapa in The Kathmandu Post - June 19, 2019