Under-construction Mulpani cricket ground. Photo: Republica
KATHMANDU, Dec 29: The construction of the Mulpani Cricket Stadium which started in 2007 has been subject of delay ever since. Out of many problems over the years, the construction works were obstructed recently due to the land acquisition issue. The matter has been deemed to be solved now.
A cabinet meeting held about two months ago decided to provide an alternative land to the owners in the exchange of area which comes inside the playing ground premises.
The Nepal Sports Council (NSC) has already located the land to be provided to the owners. “Almost everything is ready. The paperwork has been completed and officially handed over to the owners,” an NSC official told Republica.
Although 90 percent work of the ground had already completed, the operation of the under-construction ground remained under the clouds for years due to the land acquisition issue.
The NSC owns 294 ropanies of the total land but for the completion of the master-plan project, it needed further 3.25 ropanies owned by the locals.
But due to the dispute between the government and landowners, the ground could not get full shape.
According to Krishna Maya Timalsina, one of the landowners, they have been residing there for a long time and they had built a small shelter on the land.
“We demanded for a shelter to live because we could not afford city areas. The government promised us to provide land but did not.”
Chairman of Kageshwari Manahara Municipality-6, where the ground lies, Prakash Phuyal confirmed the solution in the land issue.
“Currently walls are being built around the cricket stadium and the alternative land has already been passed in the name of the landowners by the NSC. They are preparing to leave the ground after being asked to do so by the government.”
According to the coordinator of the ground, Radha Krishna Bista, the cabinet located the alternative land to provide to the owners along with the paperwork.
The NSC has further demanded a budget of Rs 400 million from the finance ministry to run the further work of the ground. Similarly, a contract has been given to Kalika JB Construction to build boundary walls around the ground which started after the settlement of land dispute. The construction of pavilion is almost completed and work for laying down the playing pitches is going on.
The master-plan of the stadium includes a cricket academy, practice ground, hostel, administrative building and swimming pool. It is expected to be completed within two years.
In the meantime, NSC allocated the budget of Rs 1.8 million to make the upper ground of Mulpani stadium playable.
The upper Mulpani ground is deemed playable and Rs 17,000 is charged to the general people or tournament organizers for hosting a match. NSC receives Rs 10,000 and Rs 7,000 is paid to the ground staffs from the collected money.