Nepal plans quake-proof temples

Nepal plans quake-proof temples

KATHMANDU - The Department of Archaeology (DoA) is planning to incorporate seismic-resistant components while restoring and rebuilding the temples and historic monuments that were either destroyed or damaged by the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks.

"Our long-term plan of restoration and reconstruction will incorporate the seismic-resistant building practices," said Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general at DoA.

Dahal added that the department has already started surveying the affected areas to identify the monuments that need urgent reinforcement.

Of the estimated 700 cultural sites damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, over 300 of them were more than 100 years old. The Kathmandu Valley, which is home to seven Unesco World Heritage Sites, was the most affected area.

Besides the Valley, districts like Sindhupalchok, Dolakha, Kavre, Makwanpur, Nuwakot, Tanahun, Kaski, Mustang, Bara, Parsa, Dhanusha, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Rasuwa, Lamjung and Gorkha also witnessed severe damage of ancient historical and cultural sites.

Dahal said the department is currently working on a tentative plan to restore and reconstruct the collapsed temples and monuments. The plan has been divided into three stages-urgent and immediate, short-term and long-term.

Under the urgent and immediate stage, collection and storage of the artefacts and valuables, cleaning up the ruins and providing temporary support to the vulnerable structures are taking place.

Likewise, the mid-term activities include preparing inventories, status survey along with restoration works like changing the roofs, pinnacles and works like reconstruction.

The rebuilding of damaged structures with proper building structures by incorporating reinforcement and retrofitting techniques fall under the long-term plan.

"A majority of our archaeological sites were old and unable to resist the severe intensity earthquake as that of April 25," said Ram Kunwar, an archaeologist with DoA.

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