The historical landmark of Nepal, Dharahara, stands only after 6 years of its fall; yet transparency of expenditure is questioned

Anushka Nepal

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Kathmandu: Nepal always holds pessimistic trends when it comes to the completion of development projects. However, the construction of Dharahara is an exception. The completion of Dharahara was quicker than expected despite the impact of the pandemic in the latter years of reconstruction.

Many projects such as Melamchi project, Arun Hydropower Project,, and many others have taken longer than expected.

“Among seven major components in the rebuilding of Dharahara, the rebuilding of the main tower has been completed. A few minor constructions are pending, but overall, the reconstruction process has been comparatively faster than other development and reconstruction projects,” said Bharat Prasad Aryal, Project Head of Dharahara Reconstruction.

Coming to the history of the reconstruction, on 25 December 2015, the government of Nepal authorized the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) for the reconstruction of the fallen structure. It was officially inaugurated on 24 April 2021, a day before the 6th anniversary of the quake.

The construction of Dharahara, however, is not out of controversy.

Dharahara, the archival monument of Nepal collapsed during the dreadful earthquake of magnitude 7.8 that battered Nepal on 25 April 2015, leaving people with the destruction of homes and loss of families.

Seeing the historical emblem of Nepal standing up has brought a smile to the face of the Nepali citizens. 

Aryal informed that the main reason behind the rapid reconstruction of Dharahara is the government’s assignment of a dedicated reconstruction entity. “The National Reconstruction Authority made it easy to take quick decisions without delaying the rebuilding process,” he added. 

The government managed the funding and the NRA took the responsibility of the labor management.

Not out of controversy

The construction of Dharahara, however, is not out of controversy. Social media is flooded with posts questioning “where did the four billion rupees go?” It is clear that people are expecting a transparent expenditure report.

A few of the Twitterati also questioned the government’s priority. “Should Dharahara be a priority now amid a flaring pandemic?”

The Dharahara Reconstruction Project is estimated to be completed around December, according to Aryal. However, this is one of the few projects that did not delay itself longer, unlike the rest of the development projects of Nepal.