Wet n Wild Bardia
Risk Reduction and Preparedness in Nepal
are heard History is seen
What is in a name or a title, even? What makes a person really stand out from the crowd is their life’s work and experience. Rajendra Prasad Kayastha, a pioneering civil engineer who has contributed his life to the construction industry is one person whose actions truly speak louder than words. Here is a man known in all circles for his professional profi ciency and achievements, as well as his devotion to his chosen field of work.
Originally from Bhaktapur, Kayastha was schooled in Kathmandu during his formative years. He obtained his B.E. in Civil Engineering from what was then one of the top regional engineering colleges in India, the Karnataka Regional Engineering
College, Surathkal (now NIT) under Mysore University, obtaining a first class with distinction in 1972.
Kayastha’s career is almost a montage of multiple civil engineering experiences. He started work as the designate quality control/material engineer of the Tribhuvan International Airport Project in 1972. The project was possibly the first ICB Contract in Nepal. Simultaneously, he worked as site engineer, surveyor, planner, estimator, quantity surveyor and contract administrator in various civil engineering projects such as building, airports, bridges, flyovers, highway, hydropower projects, industrial buildings (fertilizer factories and thermal power plants, among others),
irrigation projects, sub-stations and waterfront structures (Jetty).
One of the most challenging jobs he has completed was the successful installation of no less than eleven 120-metre deeper open-ended caissons (which are still believed to be among the world’s deepest caissons) across the 11 km wide Jamuna River in Bangladesh. These caissons were to be the foundation structure for the equally high (110 m) 132 KVA transmission towers. Kayastha has worked exclusively for multinational construction companies– both Japanese and Korean, and a Canadian Consulting Firm. Additionally, he has 10 years of experience working in Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Bijaya Laxmi Rai spoke to Kayastha about his experiences working in foreign countries, asking him to compare his personal international work experiences with present-day construction practices in Nepal. The veteran engineer expressed his analysis in the following manner:
Kayastha is still active despite his age. He is currently running the Akara Materials Testing Laboratory, established with the sole purpose of providing much needed and best-possible services in the testing of construction materials, quality control, geo-technical engineering, field investigations, and tests such as load tests on soils and foundations piles, and rock drilling work.
In addition, this multifarious personality is also a member of the Rotary Club and life member of the Nepal Council of Arbitration (NEPCA), which works to resolve construction disputes.