Access to World Heritage Sites reopens
June, Kathmandu : The government on Monday reopened access to the constituting heritage sites making up the Kathmandu World Heritage Property which had been closed following the devastating 7.6 Richter scale earthquake on April 25 and subsequent ripples of aftershocks.
The government reopened access for visits to Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and the Pashupati Temple premises and the surrounding vicinity which had suffered extensive and partial damages during the quake.
The government will soon open access to historic Changunarayan Temple located atop a hill at north-east part of the Kathmandu Valley. The heritage sites were shutdown for at least 52 days due to security risk posed to tourists from damaged and weakened structures.
Addressing a ceremony marking the reopening of access to the heritage sites in Bhaktapur, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kripasur Sherpa said the government was committed to actively pursuing its goal to reconstruct the destroyed monuments and bring them back to their former form.
“The damages incurred in the heritage sites due to the earthquake must be brought back to their former composition through reconstruction,” Minister Sherpa said.
On the occasion, Constituent Assembly member Prem Suwal said the heritage sites had witnessed damages to some extent and it was necessary to pursue reconstruction with high priority to revive Nepal’s tourism industry to its former glory.
Tourism Secretary Sureshman Shrestha underlined one of the reasons for reopen access to the heritage site was to bring the general life, which was put off gear following the quake, back to normalcy.
Department of Tourism Director General Tulasi Prasad Gautam said, “Nepal’s tourism had somewhat gone down to zero following the quake. The reopening of the heritage sites will gradually activate the tourism sector.”
Moreover, Department of Archeology General Director Bhesh Narayan Dahal said Nepal’s cultural sites had suffered only limited damages but not wholesale damages.
It is necessary to convey a message that Nepal’s secure in terms of culture,” Dahal stressed. RSS