GYAN P NEUPANE
KATHMANDU, Jan 27: If everything goes as planned, the government will complete the construction of a Republic Monument inside the Narayanhiti Palace by mid-May and it will be ready for inauguration on the upcoming Republic Day.
The country will mark the 9th Republic Day this year on May 28. The Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) has been planning to inaugurate the monument on the special day and it has already given the contractor a deadline of mid-May.
“Over 80 percent of the total infrastructure has been completed so far,” Sivahari Sharma, director general at DUDBC, told Republica. “The finishing is the only remaining work on the monument, which will be completed within the next five months.”
The monument has been constructed in an area of 25,739 square meters at the eastern part of Narayanhiti Palace. The project has already spent over Rs 342.2 million on the construction so far.
Then prime minister Baburam Bhattarai had laid the foundation stone for the monument on March 27, 2012. The monument will commemorate those who contributed to the establishment of the republic.
There will also be four mini pillars at the monument site in memory of those who were killed, disappeared, injured or were lost during the people’s movement, which played a key role in ending the monarchy.
“The recent pace of the construction shows that it will be completed in time for inauguration on upcoming Republic Day,” said Krishna Kumar Karki, an engineer at DUDBC.
However, the contractor is not completing the construction within the origionally stipulated timeframe of three years. The contract was first signed in December 2012.
But the contractor has been given two time extensions totalling one and half years. The earthquake, the Indian blockade and recurring shortages of construction materials are mainly behind the delay in project implementation, claimed Karki.
The government has also set out a plan to build a republic tower in Kritipur. The foundation stone was laid at Gaangkhel in Kritipur, west of Tribhuwan University, in 2012. Officials at DUDB informed that this tower is to be 94 meters tall and 60 meters wide at the base. But the construction has not been started due to budget problems.
First appeared in Republica national daily