Nepal struggles to regain its heritage sites

Nepal struggles to regain its heritage sites

Nepal is a small nation but with rich heritage history and therefore, when killer earthquake hit the nation in 2015 it not only shook the local people and structures but also the conscience of heritage lovers world over. The earthquake had caused irreparable damage to many heritage sites while some others were incapable of being restored to the original beauty. A total 891 sites of archaeological and cultural importance were damaged in Nepal due to devastating earthquake in 2015.

According to the Government in Nepal, more than 2.12 billion Nepali rupees have been spent so far on reconstruction of 96 World Heritage monuments and 284 other archaeological and cultural sites. Its also reported that the National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal gave approval for the reconstruction of heritage structures only after significant progress in the reconstruction of private houses. Now reconstruction of heritage and cultural sites have been given a top priority.

Over 150 heritage sites are scheduled to be reconstructed in the current financial year. Besides the Government of Nepal many other countries including India, China, USA, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Japan are providing financial assistance for the reconstruction of quake affected heritage monuments.

However, there are also complaints about the quality of work being done. There are protests about the Guthi Bill, Rani Pokhari and other heritage sites threatened by modern infrastructure. People point fingers at Sumangal and Bhasmeswar at the Patan World Heritage Site to cite example and express unhappiness about the quality and the pace of reconstruction work. In some cases, usage of bulldozers has already caused immense damage to the existing structures. There are also instances of land sharks grabbing the land in and around some heritage sites and government authorities have reportedly turned blind eye to such incidents. Thus, even after almost five years, Nepal is struggling to regain its hold on some of its rich heritage sites.

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