Nine athletes share a room that cost Rs 1,000 a night, pay Rs 850 each • Fifteen share a hall without a    bed, sleep on floor
Sunsari, December 28 The National Sports Council earned praise when it decided to raise the daily allowance of the players and officials by Rs 600 and Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista proudly announced that the money would be given to the individuals and not to the team managers or regional officials like in previous editions. The players and officials welcomed the decision. But when it came to the implementation part, the NSC failed completely. The local management team took over the responsibility of booking hotels and arranging meals for participants. Depending on the standard of hotel, athletes were charged up to Rs 900 per day for bed, breakfast and two-time meal. NSC deducted the amount from the allowance and the athletes received the remaining money only after their events were finished. The story does not end here. Players were forced to share beds with their teammates. Five to 15 players spent nights in a room having a capacity to house three and each one paid the same amount. Central region’s athlete Sangita Khadka said she shared a room with four others in the last two days and the number was nine on the first two nights. “I came to know that the cost of the room was Rs 1,000, but we were made to pay Rs 850 per head,” she added. Sagar Budhathoki, an athlete from the mid-western region, said, “I stayed with 14 other players in a room which was like a hall. There were no beds and we were forced to sleep on the floor,” he added. General Secretary of the Nepal National and International Players Association Deepak Shrestha said, “I found such problems in two or three hotels and I informed the convenor of the Monitoring Committee Surendra Hamal.” “Nobody is concerned about the players and facilities they get. Organisers just want to finish off the games at the earliest,” he added. “I tried to contact NSC Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista but he does not even pick the phone, let alone hold a meeting to discuss athletes’ problems,” said Shrestha, a member of NNIPA’s Monitoring Committee. NSC Member Secretary Bista refuted the claims. “I’m not aware of such incidents and no one has come to me with a complaint. I am surprised how such issues go to the media,” said Bista. “I’ve visited all places and no one spoke to me about that. But if this is true and local management teams are involved in such incidents, we will take action against them,” insisted Bista. Co-owner of the Swastika Guest House in Itahari, Keshab Dahal said organisers had booked 11 rooms for 33 persons. “Four of the rooms are big enough to accommodate five persons each easily,” said Dahal. According to him, bigger rooms are rented for Rs 1,700 a day and smaller ones for Rs 1,200. A total of 32 players were forced to adjust in 10 rooms, while legendary marathon runner Baikuntha Manandhar stayed in one room.