This file photo shows under construction Mulpani International Cricket Stadium.
KATHMANDU, March 24: After failing to solve the land acquisition issue, the completion of the under-construction Mulpani International Cricket Stadium is set to be delayed.
Though the first phase of construction is on the verge of completion, the second phase of work is in limbo after failing to acquire 52 anas of land required to give the stadium's ground a complete shape.
The National Sports Council (NSC) is not allowed to start the bidding process for stadium's second phase work without solving the land acquisition issue. And the budget of Rs 60 million allocated for the second phase work in the current fiscal year is likely to freeze. The NSC had allocated the amount to start the second phase work within the fiscal year.
NSC owns 294 ropanis of land in Mulpani but it still requires further 52 anas of land to finish the ground construction as per its design. According to NSC's master plan, stadium's premises will have academy with practice ground, hostel, swimming pool and other essential blocks.
After the landowners of the land disagreed on the compensation package offered by the government, the NSC has failed to acquire the land. Meanwhile, NSC engineer Bihswamitra Sanjyal who is as assigned as site engineer of the stadium informed that the Ministry of Youth and Sports is planning to offer the exchange of land to solve the issue with the owners.
“Ministry is also working to offer land exchange with the local land owners. A team from the Department of Survey has been mobilized to find out the exact map of the land that NSC owns in Mulpani to see if the exchange of the land can be conducted without affecting the master plan,” said engineer Sanjyal. As per the request of the ministry, the Department of Survey had mobilized a team in February which will submit its report after a week.
“If the report shows that we have land which could be exchanged then we will start the process to offer land exchange. But before that, a cabinet meeting need to pass the decision,” added Sanjyal.
Even if all these issues are solved, the second phase work of the stadium won't start in this fiscal year and it will further delay in the completion of the much-awaited cricket infrastructure. “The second phase construction of the stadium is very unlikely to start in this fiscal year because we will have to go through bidding process which takes time,” added Sanjyal. The second phase includes construction of eight blocks of the parapet, pavilion, dressing room, media room, scoreboard and lights pillar.
The first phase of work which includes construction of the ground, three blocks of parapet and drainage among others started in February, 2015 and will finish by the end of this fiscal year. Though it was supposed to complete in July 2016, the NSC allocated one more year for the construction works citing the earthquake and blockade by India.
The government has promised to allocate a total budget of Rs 1.2 billion to complete the stadium. As per the promise, the NSC was given Rs 170 million for the first phase of work while the government has given additional Rs 60 million to start the second phase work from the current fiscal year. However, after failing to solve the land acquisition issue the budget is set to return to the state coffers.
Meanwhile, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Youth and Sports Ram Thapaliya urged the local land owners to accept the compensation package in order to complete the construction of the stadium as it will be a big asset for the local people and the surrounding areas.
“The construction of Mulpani cricket stadium will contribute in the development of the locality and the locals need to understand that. It will be a big asset for them. So I urge them to help us in the completion of the stadium by accepting the compensation package,” said Thapaliya.