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Indian envoy to Nepal reviews progress of India International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage

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The Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Naveen Srivastava, inspected the construction site of the India International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage (IICBCH) on Thursday to get an update on the progress in the project.

As per the officials from the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), the project has achieved 40 percent progress within 8 months post-the ground-breaking or “Bhoomi Pooja” ceremony that was held in August 2023.

Following the visit, the project director at the IBC, Vijayant Thapa shared that the building will be state-of-the-art and will be the first building with net-zero carbon emissions.

“While you see so many monasteries in and around–wonderful and beautiful monasteries–this is the first of its kind. As said in Buddhism, mindfulness is also one of the things that should be practiced. It’s about time that we also need to do something about the environment, and keeping that in mind, this building, which you see in the backdrop called the India International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage is going to be the first net-zero building in Nepal. The more it works to reduce carbon emissions, the better it is. At the moment, this building has achieved nearly 40 percent of its construction goals. In about eight to ten months, we are set to complete this entire project,” Vijayant Thapa, Director (Project) at IBC told ANI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his 2022 visit to Lumbini, along with his then Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba, laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Buddhist Center.

A year later the formal process to start the construction of the state-of-the-art building with zero carbon emissions kicked in. This project is being overseen by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), New Delhi, over the land plot allocated by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) under an agreement between IBC and LDT, which was signed in March 2022.

The “award of contract” for the project has been given to ACC-Gorakha, an Indo-Nepal Joint Venture company by International Buddhist Confederation. An estimated one billion Indian rupees is expected to be incurred at the time of the construction of the center.

“It has been about eight months since we started working on this project, and within this time we completed the laying of the foundation and prepared for the second phase of slab casting along with the finishing materials. The most important part of this building is the blooming lotus; the work of fabrication has already started,” Devraj Gautam, technical director of the construction company, told ANI.

The completion of the India International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage is expected to be a center where all information relating to Gautam Buddha will be available.

Once completed, the center will be a world-class facility, welcoming pilgrims and tourists from all over the world to enjoy the essence of the spiritual aspects of Buddhism. The state-of-the-art building in the shape of a blooming lotus will be a modern building, NetZero compliant in terms of energy, water, and waste handling, and will house prayer halls, meditation centres, a library, an exhibition hall, a cafeteria, offices, and other amenities.