Pokhara, March 10

Youth and Sports Minister Jagat Bahadur Sunar today laid the foundation stone of the Pokhara Stadium, almost two months after National Sports Council signed the contract with Great Sports Infra Pvt Ltd and MA Construction Pvt Ltd.

The government had signed the contract worth Rs 12.8 million to construct the stadium with the capacity of 18,500 spectators. The stadium, which will have football pitch of 102X64m and eight-lane athletics track, will be completed by mid-July.

Minister Sunar instructed the construction company to complete the project on time. “As we have to host the South Asian Games, we need to complete the construction works and ready infrastructure. SA Games is a matter of pride for us and a challenge at the same time,” said Sunar, hoping that the facility would beat international standard. Sunar also urged the stakeholders to help the construction works and not bring unwanted hassles to disrupt the construction. “It is our responsibility to prepare friendly environment so that the stadium could be finished on time. After the completion of the project, we can develop Pokhara as the Sports Tourism City,” he added.

National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista asked the authorities to prepare a new master plan for future. “The facilities inside the Pokhara Stadium were constructed as per the requirement of yesteryear. Now, we need to prepare a new master plan for future although it might take more than a decade to be completed,” Bista said. “We are constructing the biggest and modern stadium in Pokhara with the capacity of 18,500 and it is extendable to 30,000,” he said.

Anup Acharya of MA Construction said the project would be completed on time if they do not face natural or technical problems. “We are committed to complete the project on time and hand over the facility to the government,” added Acharya. “We are preparing a stadium under Steel Modular System which is the first of its kind in Nepal. We will bring the steel structure from France and import synthetic track from Germany,” he added.

Province Assembly Member Rajeev Pahari said the provincial government was ready to help in the project. President of Western Regional Sports Development Committee Sampanna Shrestha also committed their support for the project. Shrestha also urged all the associations not to disturb in the construction works. “If the stadium is not constructed now, it will never be completed,” said Shrestha. “We need to monitor the construction works and pressurise the contractors to complete the project on time,” he added.

Pokhara Stadium occupies the land of 417 ropanis. Currently, four projects — archery, lawn tennis, badminton and multipurpose covered hall — are under construction with the target of hosting the SA Games events, while volleyball training centre and handball grounds are already completed.