Pokhara Stadium is getting a massive facelift as it gears up for the 13th South Asian GamesAuthorities say the Games will bring long-term benefits to the lake city, but they are concerned about maintenance of facilities after the events.
Pokhara Stadium, one of the major venues for the upcoming 13th South Asian Games, which Nepal is hosting from December 1 to 10, is getting a facelift.
The country’s largest in terms of area, Pokhara Stadium is spread over 417 ropanis of land and is managed by the Western Regional Sports Development Committee. The sporting complex now also boasts a multipurpose covered hall.
Women’s football, women’s cricket, archery, badminton and handball under the Games will be played at Pokhara Stadium. Construction of the infrastructure for all these events is now in the final phase of completion.
Blacktopping of roads and installation of lights and CCTV cameras are underway while the parapet with the capacity of 20,000 spectators is being prepared.
There are, however, some concerns over the completion of the stadium in time. The main issue is the grass surface on the playing field.
The hall for badminton is getting shape and levelling work of land for archery is underway.
The stadium will also host cricket matches. Pokhara is also assigned with the duty of hosting women’s cricket tournament under the Games.
The handball court construction, which is estimated to cost Rs 9 million, is also in the final stage.
Triathlon, weightlifting and beach volleyball will be played at separate venues outside of the stadium in Pokhara. However, the adventure sport of paragliding which previously was supposed to be held at Sarangkot has now been taken off the Games due to inadequate participation from other nations.
“Facilities have already been prepared at Fewa Lake for the triathlon while sand is being managed on the banks of Fewa Lake for beach volleyball,” said Rajesh Kumar Gurung, a member at the National Sports Council. “Works to instal temporary parapet will now begin.”
As Pokhara is also set to play host to the ninth National Games, the National Sports Council is planning to construct a swimming pool on the stadium premises. “With the construction of the swimming pool, we will have the infrastructure for all sports,” said Prakash Baral, chief of District Sports Development Committee.
According to Deepak Koirala, a provincial member of Gandaki Province and also the former president of the Western Regional Sports Development Committee, The 13th South Asian Games will bring long-term benefits to Pokhara which is a tourist city.
Koirala, who also chairs the Finance and Development Committee of the Gandaki Provincial Assembly, however, said the maintenance and conservation of the infrastructures following the conclusion of the Games will be a major challenge. “Managing the football ground with natural grass surface will very challenging,” said Koirala. “It is imperative that we formulate a plan and ensure efficient implementation to maintain the standards of these facilities.”