Monday, 17 June, 2024

Pashupati Area master plan awaits final approval


By Binu Shrestha

Kathmandu, Mar. 22: Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) has submitted the fourth master plan to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) for final approval.
The PADT has prepared the fourth master plan for the overall development of the nation’s holiest site for next 100 years. It was submitted to the MoCTCA for the final approval, two months after the PADT passed it.
According to the proposed master plan, the Pashupati area has been divided into areas and sub-areas for implementing programmes according to priorities and long-term development plans.
The areas are defined by the socio-religious significance, archaeological significance, physical state, topography and present and future land use, among others. The third master plan concluded in 2008/9 fiscal year. It took around a decade to formulate the fourth master plan.
The proposed master plan has given the first priority to the management of the crowd of devotees by providing them with better facilities.
It has estimated around Rs 40 billion for the implementation of the proposed master plan, said Dr Pradeep Dhakal, member-secretary of PADT.
Dhakal said that as per the plan, development and physical infrastructure construction works would be completed in 10 years. Construction of the hospital at Gothatar, Pashupati City Hall and Pashupati Study Centre are the major components of this plan, he said.
Member-secretary Dhakal informed that the master plan has proposed to build parking facilities at Tilganga and Umakunda areas.
Chetonath Gautam, expert of master plan, informed that the Pashupati Area has been divided into three sections - core area, consonant area and continuum area.
The core area is mainly the Pashupati and Guheswori temples precincts and the religious, social and geographical forms associated with these temples. Pashupati core area is divided into three sub-areas.
Continuum area is the remaining part of Pashupati area and falls outside the consonant area.
It is, further, divided into three parts to effectively manage the work plan. Apart from core, consonant and continuum area, the proposed master plan is also divided into service area.
Gothatar area of 534 ropanis land has been allotted for service area where the proposed hospital will be built to provide free health services.
It has proposed to develop Darshan Path of Pashupatinath with facility of locker service, toilet facility with bathroom, lobby, restaurant, information desk and screening of visuals related to Pashupatinath.
Pashupati Area Parikrama Path will be developed assembling the Pashupati, Guheshwori, Kirateshowr, Shivapuri Ashram, Tilganga, Gausala, Bhandarkhal, Sifal, Bhadarshwor, Chabahil, Stupa, Jaybageshwori and Rudragadeswor areas.
Parikrama Path is further divided into two parts -- short and long route.
Apart from this, reconstruction of the big temples like Bishworupa, and some other damaged in the 2015 earthquake, are included in the master plan, and their construction will complete in five years.
The plan has defined the area related to preservation, development construction and facility, physical infrastructure, forest and environment conservation, education, publicity and awareness generation, and study, survey and project preparation.
It has estimated Rs. 7.98 billion for preservation, Rs. 16.48 billion for development construction and facility, Rs. 2.89 billion for physical infrastructure, Rs. 1.61 billion for forest and environment conservation, Rs. 600 million for education, publicity and awareness generation and Rs. 485 million for study, survey and project preparation.
Pashupati area spreads in 264 hectares of land, but it hardly occupies 50 to 60 hectares of land. Of the total land, 1161 ropanis of land has come under the airport. Most of the land belonging to Pashupatinath has already turned into private land. The shortage of empty land has directly affected the parking system in the areas. “We need to pool the private land for parking,” said Gautam.
“To develop Pashupati area as a heritage-friendly site and preserve all the roadside famous temples, we should find out alternative way to shift the current ring road section from Chabahil to Gausala. Dhobikhola corridor can be used for this task,” he said.
He suggested that an underpass be managed to minimise road accidents and to cross the road, especially for elderly and disabled devotees.