One-Pillar Pagoda repairs put on hold

The head monk of One-Pillar Pagoda has filed complaints that the repair process does not meet requirements.

 Construction at One-Pillar Pagoda complex

Time and weather have left their marks on Mot Cot, or the One-Pillar Pagoda, and its complex. The roof was already damaged, and due to a bad drainage system, the whole complex becomes flooded after normal rains. Moreover, the monks have had to live in the worship house because the complex does not have monks’ quarters.

The pagoda’s head monk, Thich Tam Kien, had to file complaints and has been asking for help from various agencies since 2008. By the end of 2013, Hanoi authorities announced the plan to restore the One-Pillar Pagoda complex. However, according to monk Thich Tam Kien, the original plan has been changed and has become impractical.

The low terrain is part of the cause of flooding, making it necessary for the ground level to be raised, but this issue is not included in the plan. Also, according to the plan, total area for monk residency is only 48 square metres. Kien said, “The One-Pillar Pagoda receives many visitors. 48-square-metre monks’ quarter leaves little room for other activities. Besides, the small residence does not fit in with the complex landscape.”

The Prime Minister’s directive, issued in December 2013, stated that 25% of One-Pillar Pagoda complex would undergo construction. The Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam then asked Hanoi authorities to expand total area for monk residences to 120 square metres.

The monks at the One-Pillar Pagoda decided to file another complaint to the Prime Minister. On May 13, the Government Office asked authorities in Hanoi to review the plan. Currently, the construction at One-Pillar Pagoda complex has been halted.

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