KATHMANDU:After remaining in a state of neglect for years, a dilapidated Pashupati Temple can finally hope to get renovated. According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), a technical report on the condition of the temple and renovation plan will be prepared in a week.
The PADT had planned to renovate the temple two years ago, but the plans have been gathering dust due to fund crunch and a conflict of interest among the shrine’s caretakers, storekeepers and priests.
“Once the report comes out, the process for temple renovation will begin,” Narottam Vaidya, treasurer at the PADT, said, stressing the need to preserve the historic temple without delay.
The last time the temple underwent major renovation was about 200 years ago, according to the PADT.
In the absence of timely maintenance, the shrine’s silver-mounted doors, pillars and arches are in a sorry state. With water seeping in, woodcraft has suffered extensive damage,” said Vaidya. “On top of it, mice have been wreaking havoc.”
With caretakers, storekeepers and priests misusing the funds coming from devotees, the temple does not have enough funds to carry out repair work, Vaidya noted. Millions of rupees is needed for the renovation, which has remained on hold due to successive governments’ apathy, according to the PADT treasurer. Commenting on the ‘misuse of funds’, officials at the Ministry of Federal Affairs, Constituent Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture said the ministry cannot interfere in PADT’s activities as it is an autonomous body.
“The ministry will continue to play the role of a patron,” said Rishi Kesh Niraula, under-secretary at the ministry, adding that it is up to the Cabinet to decide on renovation fund.
“The ministry has recently suggested the Cabinet on renovation. The Cabinet is yet to respond,” Niraula informed.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the pagoda-style temple is believed to be more than 2,000 years old. Himalayan