The consumers committee involved in the reconstruction of the historic Rato Machchhindranath temple at Bungmati are compelled to buy timber at exorbitant rate. This is due to the shortage of timber in the market.
The committee said that they were not getting timber of various sizes in the market for the reconstruction purpose after the COVID-19 pandemic. The reconstruction works had to be halted due to the shortage of timber.
Committee president Amir Shakya said they were carrying out the reconstruction works by buying whatever timber is available at the sawmill.
“Since we are not getting the timber in bulk, we have to bring timber from several sawmills in separate trips which is costly in terms of the transportation charge,” Shakya said. He said that they were compelled to buy timber at higher price also because the government engineer assigned for the temple reconstruction has not determined the exact quantity of timber required for the temple’s reconstruction.
The temple will be 70 feet 4 inches high from its base to the pinnacle. It is said timber will be used in the construction up to the height of 64 feet 4 inches. Wood work has been completed only up to 22 feet height so far, Shakya shared.
“We have already ordered for the ‘karnes’ and ‘batu’ bricks that are required for the temple’s reconstruction. It was found that 33 different types of bricks had been used for the construction of the temple in the past. We had to give special order for making these two types of bricks as we could not manage them,” committee president Shakya explained about their situation.
The committee said the temple’s reconstruction has been completed up to one storey and the 70 per cent of the masonry works is over.
It was said the temple which was destroyed by the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake would be reconstructed with the financial assistance of Rs 50 million to be provided by the Sri Lanka government.
The consumer committee had to take the initiation for the reconstruction as no agency showed any concern for the same. As a result, an agreement was signed between the committee and the Department of Archaeology for carrying out the reconstruction at an investment of Rs 32.1 million. Accordingly, the reconstruction works were started on July 6 after performing the atonement rituals at the temple on July 4, 2020.
As per the agreement, the reconstruction works should be completed by mid-July 2021.
The temple is believed to be around 1,500 years old and it is built in the ‘Shikhar’ architectural style. The temple is dedicated to the Rato Machchhindranath deity, the god of rain and good harvest. The Machchhindranath chariot procession, the longest religious-cum-cultural festival in Kathmandu Valley and biggest festival of Patan, is also associated with Rato Machchhindranath deity. Both Hindus and Buddhists celebrate this festival.