October 25, Kathmandu. Reconstruction of the tower has almost come to a halt after the inauguration.
The then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli inaugurated the tower on April 26, 2008 without completing the construction. Since then, the pace of reconstruction has slowed down as the government has shown little interest.
According to the National Reconstruction Authority, about 43 percent of the tower’s work (physically) remains. Construction company Raman Construction, which has already taken Rs 1.64 billion from the project till the inauguration, has barely paid Rs 100 million in six months.
According to a NEA technician, the financial progress which was 54 percent till the inauguration has now exceeded only 56 percent. He said that only 2.5 percent work has been done in the project in six months based on the progress of financial statements.
NEA spokesperson Manohar Ghimire admits that construction of the tower has slowed down after the inauguration. “We are also busy with the work required to dissolve the authority. It is true that there was no work in the tower after the inauguration,” he said.
According to project officials, the number of workers employed at the construction site of the tower is very low at present. Recalling that work was done overnight before the inauguration, he said that the contractor did not follow the instructions after the inauguration.
“Work is being done in 42 ropani area, at least 500 workers should be working. When machines and workers are working on such a big project, there should be loud noise outside,” he says. “After the inauguration, there is no construction site.”
Hundreds of workers worked overnight for about three months before the inauguration, the official said. However, the authority has concluded that the contractor has started working in the old style by making many excuses even after cutting the letter.
The construction period of the tower is coming to an end this December. As the government has given an additional six months to the affected project citing the cause of the epidemic, all the work of the project should be completed by May. However, NEA officials said that the tower could not be built a year ago even if the work was done at a fast pace before the inauguration.
What’s left to do?
The ladder of the tower, which was inaugurated by hastily adding elevators without completing the work, has not been completed yet. Work remains to be done on painting, lighting and information technology.
The three-storey underground parking under the tower of the tower has not been completed. The work of the museum is also left. The administrative building is yet to be constructed. There is no road connecting Khichapokhari to Tundikhel.
The construction work of the bridge has not started yet. Sundhara also needs to be decorated. A park is yet to be built by constructing a garden. In the same way, the rest of the old tower that collapsed in the earthquake will have to be placed inside the glass and many other decorative works will have to be done.
However, the authority said that it is not possible to say with certainty when the public will be able to climb the tower after the workers are not allowed to work on the site and operate the machines. So we haven’t been able to do much. ‘
Contrary to the custom of inaugurating the tower only after the contractor has handed over the construction work, the then Prime Minister Oli hastily inaugurated the tower.
NEA, which is about to be dissolved from January 26, is preparing to hand over the responsibility of rebuilding the tower to the Urban Development and Building Construction Department. After the preparation of the department, the entire structure will be handed over to Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
However, NEA officials say that it would take at least two and a half to three years to complete the work of the tower if the work is done at the current pace.