Budget constraints become major concern for organizing SAG on time
August 15, 2019 07:16 AM NPT
By: DHAN BASNET
Under-construction Pokhara Stadium.
POKHARA, Aug 15: The preparation for 13th South Asian Games (SAG) is facing hindrances and problems due to budgets constraints in Pokhara.
The lack of funds has become the main cause of halt according to office bearers of Pokhara Stadium. The local stakeholders are raising concerns if the construction of necessary infrastructures will be completed on time to host the SAG.
Preparation for total eight games to be hosted in Pokhara has been affected.
Pokhara is set to host events of handball, weight-lifting, volleyball, paragliding, archery, women’s football, women’s cricket and triathlon for the upcoming edition of the prestigious games.
However, a lot of preparation works is yet to be done before the event kicks-off. The parqueting and flooring of the multi-purpose covered hall is yet to be completed.
The hall is selected to host handball and volleyball. The sound system isn’t installed yet in the arena. The false ceiling of the hall was damaged by windstorm few months ago which is not renovated yet. A total of Rs 5.5 million has been allocated for this but officials at the local levels said they are yet to receive the money. Similarly, the badminton players for SAG games have been deprived of trainings as the flooring of the covered hall are still not prepared.
The Pokhara Sabhagriha, the city hall, where the weight-lifting games are to be hosted during the SAG, also is in urgent need of repair, according to the Kaski District Weight-lifting Association.
“The hall needs a new platform, sitting areas and proper restroom facilities which cannot be done without the budget,” said Rajan Badgami, the president of the association, who believes it will need at least Rs 1.5 million.
The association has also located Ranipouwa’s SRKC catering hall as possible as alternative venue for building the platform. It will require renovations for proper room facilities.
Archery is facing the same problems of lack of budgets to improve its ground conditions. The venue needs a total of Rs 9 million to upgrade the infrastructure.
“We have completed the leveling the ground but it is no use until the proper grasses will not be laid,” stated Badgami. If the budget was available the greenery work would have already carried out.
Likewise, Kaski District Cricket Association is working toward making cricket ground ready to host the women’s cricket.
The boundary has been extended by filling soils in the troughs. However the important work of preparing playing turf-wickets has not even started yet. “The cricket pitch is ground’s priority then the 30-yard circle before we head to boundary. But we are doing all opposite because we haven’t received budget for pitch works,” said Sanjay Kant Sigdel, the president of Kaski Cricket
Association. Paragliding, which is being hosted for the first time in SAG, is also struggling to locate safe flight and landing spots. It requires two types of plain land areas for different categories, accuracy and cross-country.
The land at Chapai was earlier selected for flight zone but it hasn’t been finalized as it is very close to a high-tension electricity line.
“We are now shifting our focus to Sarangkot’s flight zone after it we found the high-tension line at the proposed land at Chapai,” said Yogesh Bhattarai, the head coach of Paragliding team.
He added that it needs approximately Rs 5 million to manage the flight zone. Kaskikot’s flight zone is also shortlisted but it will require changing rooms and restrooms to upgrade it to an acceptable standard.
National Sports Council (NSC) is set to host a meeting on Sunday to discuss preparations for SAG as its major agenda. NSC’s board member Rajesh Gurung will be joined by Western Region Development Committee’s chief and technical head at the meeting.
“We have requested the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the budgets. We are hopeful that we can receive it immediately after the meeting on Sunday,” said Gurung.