NEPALGUNJ, April 22: Nepalgunj’s swimming pool complex has failed to meet the international standard even after its supposed completion during the Eighth National Games in Nepalgunj, Banke on Sunday.
The construction was delayed two days, after the official inauguration of the national games by the President of Nepal last Thursday.
It took 10 years and a budget of Rs 142.8 million for the construction, according to Nepal Sports Council (NSC). However, the swimming pool does not qualify to host any international-level competition after failing to meet the minimum requirement of Federation of Internationala de Natation (FINA) recognized by International Olympic Committee (IOC), which says that the minimum length should be at least 50 meters.
The swimming pool will only be able to host ‘Short Cross’ after falling 18 centimeters short of the international standard. “The FINA allows 2/3 centimeters but it’s a big difference,” said Jagat Man Shrestha, general secretary of Nepal Swimming Association.
A new controversy has arisen after the member secretary of NSC Keshav Kumar Bista refused to take the blame. “We sent members from the swimming association so many times to inspect the venue during its construction. The pool was built under their supervision. I have sent them a dozen times to Nepalgunj to assess the construction,” Bista claimed.
However, Shrestha refused to buy Bista’s claim. “They did not coordinate with our representatives during the construction. We had officially mailed the NSC for representation from our association but they refused to work with us,” Shrestha said. “There’s no point inviting us after its completion. Rather, I am worried about the condition of Kathmandu’s swimming pool construction which is also headed by the NSC. This is a technical fault of the council.”
The government had awarded contracts to three companies -- Sunkoshi, Dragon and Worldwide -- in 2018 for the project. The total area of the swimming complex is 5972.404 square meters, whereas swimming pool is spread on the area of 1250 square meters. Similarly, a parapet of a capacity of 530 people has been built in the area.