Home National Rani Mahal faces twin danger from landslide and erosion

Rani Mahal faces twin danger from landslide and erosion

September 11, 2016: Rani Mahal, a castle built by former Palpa governor Khadga Shumsher Rana more than a century ago on the Kali Gandaki river bank, is at high risk of landslide and erosion.

Several landslides have occurred as a result of haphazard road construction in the area, says Tara Bahadur Thapa, a local.

The Kaligandaki corridor road (connecting India-China) has been constructed just 100 meters above the castle. Ever since the road construction began, there has been frequent landslides in the area.  “Besides landslides,” Thapa said, “The Kaligandaki river is also causing erosions near Rani Mahal.”

Such is the place where this monument stands on today, if landslides does not cause its collapse, then erosion will.

Dilli Bhattarai, the in charge of Rani Mahal Police Post, people stopped visiting the place after the Kaligandaki Corridor Project started constructing the road.

“The building could be no longer if the authorities concerned do not take immediate steps to preserve it,” he said.

The last major renovation of Rani Mahal was undertaken in the late 1990s.

Though Department of Archaeology (DoA) has started to renovate some parts of the castle, there has not been regular monitoring as the local people would like to see.

Some locals have accused the District Soil Conservation Office of ignoring the landslides and erosions in the area.

Durga Thapa, senior programme officer at the District Development Committee, claimed the public concern has already been conveyed to the people of Kaligandaki Corridor Project.

Guru Prasad Adhikari, the project chief said, they are working towards disaster mitigation considering the risk Rani Mahal is facing.

By Madhav Aryal