Reconstruction work of Vishworoop temple at Mrigasthali in Pashupati Area has been halted after a contractor filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court against the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) demanding release of the criteria of rebuilding the temple.
The PADT had already started a process of awarding the contract for rebuilding the heritage before the Department of Archaeology (DoA) approved the drawing design on October, 2020.
Member Secretary of the PADT Dr. Pradeep Dhakal said that the actual number of bids for the project had not been identified because the bid was not awarded after the contractor filed the writ petition.
“Our main concern is to rebuild the temple by selecting appropriate contractor,” he said, adding, “The criteria in the letter of bid mention that such contractor who has already worked in construction of temples in heritage site would be selected via competition. However, other contractors have expressed their dissatisfaction over that, saying that the bid should not be limited to certain contractors.”
Dhakal further said that the PADT was not willing to fulfill the contractors’ demand of relaxing the eligibility criteria for reconstruction.
“We had faced a lot of difficulties while deploying the contractors involved in sectors other than heritage construction. The government should be able to provide experienced contractors having knowledge and idea about temple reconstruction,” he said.
The main objective of the PADT is to rebuild the damaged temple in its original shape by complying with the rules framed by the World Heritage Organisation, he added.
Member secretary Dhakal said if the Supreme Court finalised the case fast, a gateway would be provided to us to begin the rebuilding works.
Dr. Milan Kumar Thapa, treasurer of the PADT, said that the reconstruction process could not begin after Tulsi Construction Private Limited filed the writ petition. However, the hearing date of the case is being postponed from time to time.
Budget of around Rs. 540 million has been estimated for the reconstruction of the temple.
PADT Deputy Director Raju Kumar Regmi said that the contractor had proposed 4000 square metres lime (Chuna) plaster which had not been used in the construction of temples across the nation. It is an unacceptable proposal whose main purpose is to make the project a failure, he said.
However, the PADT has allocated Rs. 100 million in the current fiscal year through internal resources. The PADT had a target to complete the reconstruction within fiscal year 2021/22.
The temple is one of the most uniquely shaped structures of the Pashupati Area with its oblong structure topped by a distinctive Mughal dome shape.
The temple was built in1920 B.S. by Jung Bahadur Rana.
The statue of Vishworoop, which had been abandoned in the Layaku Bahal area of Hanumandhoka, was brought to Mrigasthali and installed there. The idol is one of the biggest bronze-made idols across the country.
As mentioned in the book about iconography, the Vishworoop statue is a combined form of the Hindu gods — Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwor, as well as all other gods.
Source : THE RISING NEPAL,