By Amar Raj Naharki
Tanahun, July 13: It has been 18 years since a fire completely destroyed the home of Aadikabi (Pioneer Poet) Bhanubhakta Acharya in Tanahun. But it has still not been reconstructed.
For more than a decade, the house that many revere as a literary pilgrimage and the centre of Nepali language has lied in neglect. As a result, only some portions of its walls remain standing today. Yet, neither the government nor any organisation has shown any interest in rebuilding and preserving this piece of Nepali history.
The house ‘Sikharkateri’ was last repaired in 1998 for the shoot of Yadav Kharel’s film ‘Adikabi Bhanubhakta.’ However, on April 23, 2003, it caught fire and burned down. Since then, many officials have promised to rebuild the house and restore its glory. But nothing has been done so far.
In March 2017, the then Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi even laid the foundation stone for the house in presence of former Chief Secretary Leela Mani Poudyal and President of the Western Region Development Forum (WRDF) Ram Kaji Kone. At the time, it was announced that reconstruction work on the house would begin immediately with financial assistance from WRDF. A cost estimate of Rs. 6.8 million was prepared, too.
“But work has not moved an inch since then,” complained Chairman of Bhanu Municipality Ward No. 4 Purna Bahadur Laudaribhat.
“The plan was to construct an entire area dedicated to Adikabi Acharya on 10 ropanis of land which would consist of his house, a pond, flower gardens, a museum, Chautaris and many more structures,” informed Shankar Ranabhat, former executive director of the Bhanu Birthplace Development Committee. “But we have not been able to implement it because the committee has been without officials for the last four years.”
The house was built by Acharya’s great grandfather Shree Krishna Acharya. Similarly, the Ghansi Kuwa – the well built by the grass-cutter who inspired Bhanubhakta to contribute to society through literature and in a way, made him the Adikabi – is also under threat.
The expansion of the Muglin-Pokhara section of the Prithvi Highway looks set to claim the well and the nearby Bhanu-Ghansi Memorial Park. The local government has urged the authorities to widen the road without disturbing the historical well. But no decision has been taken and if work continues in its current way, the well will be buried and the park destroyed. This has worried the local people.
– The Rising Nepal