Construction of biggest covered hall set to begin

Kathmandu, August 15

Minister for Youth and Sports Rajendra Kumar KC laid the foundation stone for international-standard multipurpose covered hall on the Tribhuvan University premises today.

National Sports Council is set to construct the covered hall in 74-ropani land provided by the TU. The 5,000-capacity facility will have gymnasium hall, administrative hall, sports education department, recreation room, match official room, changing rooms, media centre and indoor practice hall. The estimated budget for the project is Rs 830 million. Although the NSC has set the deadline of February 2019, it is yet to start the tender process.

The foundation stone was laid more than two years later after NSC Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista and the then TU Vice-chancellor Hira Bahadur Maharjan had inked the agreement for the multipurpose covered hall in July 2015. This is the second project launched since Minister KC took the helm of the ministry. On Friday, he had laid the foundation stone for the heated swimming pool to be constructed at the International Sports Complex in Lalitpur at the cost of Rs 335.4 million.

Minister KC said he laid the foundation stone in a hurry as the MoYS and NSC wanted to start the construction work at the earliest. “We need to complete the project for the 13th South Asian Games. As we are organising the SAG for the third time, I fear we might be worst in terms of management and infrastructure. So, the project needs to be completed on time,” said KC.

Secretary of MoYS Mahesh Prasad Dahal said the government had allocated budget for the project but that was not spent due to technical issues. “Finishing the project on time is a real challenge for us as NSC’s technical and management aspects are poor. Last year, the NSC could not spend Rs 150 million budget,” said Dahal, who added that the Finance Ministry was ready to provide budget based on projects. “The construction works should be done seriously,” Dahal said.

NSC Member Secretary Bista was happy that the project finally kicked off. “Many had a doubt regarding the project. We will start the work within few days and assure that it will finish in time with the support of MoYS, TU and concerned authorities of Kirtipur Municipality,” said Bista, adding that the project was the biggest one in sports sector in terms of investment.

TU Vice-chancellor Tirtha Raj Khaniya said the project was a matter of pride for them. “TU has always given priority to sports as it goes hand-in-hand with education. We will support the project in every possible way,” said Khaniya. Mayor of Kirtipur Municipality Ramesh Maharjan said the locals would support the project as construction of the covered hall would be a big achievement for the locality.