Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square is an enlisted monument of Kathmandu valley in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Aarati Subedi from Tourismmail talked to program manager, Uday Bahadur Pasakhala , Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square conservation area about the reconstruction and management, earthquake of 2015 highly struck this area.
How is the reconstruction of the world heritage site going on?
Most of the temples and the “Dewals” destroyed by the earthquake is under reconstruction, initiated by Department of archeology. We are given only the responsibility to reconstruct the Kashthamandap and “Majhu Debal”.
The progress made in the areas where you are assigned to do the reconstruction?
The tender for the reconstruction of Kasthamandap has entered the “Prequalification” phase. I hope that the prequalification would be completed in next 10-12 days. After that only we will be able to announce full tender and then the work of reconstruction will start. In prior to that we are engaged in other reconstruction works.
How long will it take for reconstruction to complete?
We have estimated that the reconstruction of Kasthamandap will take 3 years and 2 years for the reconstruction of Majhu Debal. So, it might take 4- 5 years for the reconstruction of the two site whose reconstruction work’s responsibility is given to us.
There is rumor about the use of cheap materials and new ways for the reconstruction of historical monuments. Is it so?
It’s all a hoax. This is the result of negative exaggeration done by media. We are doing our work as per the rules and regulation set by the Department of Archeology. We already have published the design to let the public know about it, so there is no doubt. We are working on the design and materials prescribed by the Department of Archeology and yes we also want to object these rumors.
Are there any new plans to make Hanuman Durbar Square more popular among tourists?
We don’t have any new plans for the immediate implementation because the construction work is going on. We have laid our full focus on the reconstruction of damaged monuments in and around heritage site. Despite all this things we have kept our eye on the cleanliness and sanitation in the area. We also are able to remove the shops in the footpath which are the main hurdle for the tourist to walk around.
The traffic flow inside the heritage site sometimes prove to be headache for the tourists. What is the responsible body doing to address this problem?
We have declared the area as vehicle restricted area, emergency service vehicles don’t fall under this declaration. But shops, bank, hotels vehicles are in operation here and are parked around because we don’t have a specific parking area. We also don’t have an alternative for it so we can’t fully prohibit vehicles from entering this area.
What are the facilities that are improved and added for tourists visiting the area?
For tourist security there are tourist police who deployed for the security of tourists and if any tourists face difficulties can complain them. Like if any beggar hassle the tourist they can complain with tourist police. We have made standard toilet for foreign tourists which is cost free and hygienic but for domestic tourists don’t have standardized toilet, it is congested.