Cricket, golf, rugby? Authorities weigh options to build sports infrastructure in Pokhara's landfill site

Published On: February 6, 2023 09:30 AM NPT By: DHAN BASNET

Landfill site located at Bachhe Buduwa considered alternative ground to host U-19 Women's T20 Cricket World Cup

POKHARA, Feb 6: Stakeholders in Pokhara are considering the prospect of turning a landfill site into a multi-purpose sports complex after the authorities denied dumping of waste at Bachhe Buduwa landfill site with the operation of Pokhara Regional International Airport. 

A study conducted by the government had suggested shifting the landfill site due to its close proximity to the international airport from a security point of view as the garbage used to attract a large number of birds posing a significant threat to aircraft.

After Pokhara Regional International Airport came into operation, the garbage thrown in this area has been buried under the soil. 

Now that dumping has been banned and there is lack of open ground in other areas of Pokhara due to rapid urbanization, authorities say this place is best suited for developing a sports complex.

Pokhara Metropolitan City Ward No 14 has also concluded that the landfill site is suitable for sports infrastructure. “We are studying on which sports infrastructure is suitable for the area,” said Bodh Bahadur Karki, the ward chairman of Pokhara Metropolis-14, adding, “We will take the initiative to build the sports infrastructure that is deemed appropriate.”

The core area of landfill site of Bachche Buduwa spreads across 80 ropanis of land. Apart from that, as much as 200 ropanis of land around the core area where garbage is buried can also be used to develop sports infrastructure, says Kalpana Baral, the head of sanitation branch of Pokhara Metropolitan City. There is a possibility of building various sports infrastructure in the landfill site. Along with a cricket field, it is suitable for rugby, hockey and golf, added Baral.

Other wards do not have public land for sports infrastructure. It seems that many sports facilities can be built in the landfill site. 

Kaski District Cricket Association has urged the concerned authorities to turn the landfill site into a cricket ground.

“Nepal is hosting the U-19 Women's T20 Cricket World Cup. Our demand is that the games should be held in Pokhara along with Kathmandu,” said Sanjaykant Sigdel, chairman of the Kaski District Cricket Association, adding, “The existing Pokhara Stadium ground should be upgraded and the Bachche Buduwa ground should be made an alternative ground.” 

Nepal is gearing up to host the U-19 Women's T20 Cricket World Cup after three years. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already announced that Nepal will host the age-group tournament along with co-hosts Bangladesh in 2026. Cricket Association Nepal (CAN) has the responsibility to build and upgrade the ground along with the responsibility it has been handed.

The Tribhuvan University Cricket Ground is the only international cricket ground in Nepal. Cricket lovers of Pokhara have started raising their voices to organize the World Cup matches in Pokhara. However, there is a need to upgrade the cricket ground in Pokhara. There is also a need for an alternative ground for training along with an international-level ground for organizing matches.

The National Sports Council (NSC) has allocated a budget of Rs 20 million for developing the Pokhara Stadium Cricket Ground. The association plans to make a players’ box from the allocated budget. 

“There is a plan to make a players’ box with NSC budget and if the budget is left, we will plan to make other structures,” he said.

However, a technical expert has warned that  the physical infrastructure should not be built in the landfill site. 

“The length is 300 meters and the width is 90 meters,” said Anil Adhikari, an engineer of Western Regional Sports Development Committee, Pokhara, “It is not enough to build a cricket ground in an area with a width of 90 meters.”

Referring to the Google map, he said  that the existing wall has to be demolished to make the cricket ground. “We should not build any physical infrastructure,” he said, “It seems that a golf course will be most appropriate in the landfill site.” 

Subas Khadka, member secretary of Metropolis Sports Development Committee, has pointed out the need to create infrastructure for the rugby game which has been in discussion lately. Khadka is also involved in the Rugby Union. The discussion of rugby started after the introduction of rugby sevens in the Ninth National Games.

“There is no rugby field. It seems to be suitable for rugby,” he said. Along with filling the landfill site with soil, sports enthusiasts have also suggested that the metropolis  should take the lead in building sports infrastructure.

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