Construction work of heated swimming pool begins, finally

Lalitpur, August 11

Minister for Youth and Sports Rajendra Kumar KC laid the foundation stone for heated swimming pool at the International Sports Complex here today, nearly two years after the Nepal Swimming Association and National Sports Council signed the memorandum of understanding.

The NSC had provided NSA with 2690-square feet land at the International Sports Complex in September 2015 and the two parties had agreed to construct the 25X25m pool within two years. The estimated budget at that time was Rs 100 million. After a delay of two years, the NSA came up with a new looking project which is estimated at Rs 335.4 million.

The modern facility, which is aimed at completing within two years, will have three blocks — office, players block and a 10-lane pool. The players block will include a gym hall, cafeteria and changing room, informed NSA. As per the agreement between the two parties, the NSC will provide the NSA with 80 per cent of the total budget, while the latter will bear remaining amount. The international swimming body, FINA has provided the NSA with $25,000 to construct the pool. NSA had signed an agreement with John Sanday Associates to prepare the Detail Project Report in March last year.

Minister KC, who laid the foundation stone along with NSC Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista, was in doubt regarding the completion of the project on time. “I am worried whether the heated swimming pool will be constructed on time or not. We have often failed to construct so many projects and our contractors also do not finish their job on time,” said KC, who instructed NSC Member Secretary Bista to ensure the completion of the construction work on time. “There should not be any compromise on time and quality,” he added. Minister KC also asked NSA President Bajracharya to provide the ministry with the progress reports on regular basis.

NSC Member Secretary Bista said the swimmers would be able to practice throughout the year once the pool was ready. “Our swimmers could train only for six months previously as we did not have the facility. Now they use the pool whenever they need,” he added. Bista said the NSC had a target of finishing the construction works of the pool before the 13th South Asian Games. “I hope the swimming pool will be completed without financial crisis within two years,” added Bista.

NSA President Bajracharya said the association was struggling for the heated swimming pool for last 30 years. “The day is memorable for swimming. With the construction of the pool, Nepal will reach a new height in swimming. We will be one of the best nations in South Asian Region,” Bajracharya claimed.