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13th SAG to be affected as Dasharath Stadium reconstruction takes longer

Kumar Chaulagain, KATHMANDU: The South Asian Games (SAG) to be hosted by Nepal in March, 2019 is likely to be adversely affected as the main venue to host the event, Dasharath Stadium, is not ready for the same.
The only international stadium in the country was damaged by the 7.6 magnitude Gorkha Earthquake in April 2015 and its renovation process was in a snail-pace. No sport activities have been conducted in this multi-purpose stadium following the quake.
The renovation of the 18,000-capacity stadium started two years post the quake and began to pick a pace since May this year. Issues have begun surfacing and doubts arising over this venue being prepared by the March to host the event.
The 8th National Games has been postponed thrice in lack of the appropriate venue to host the event while uncertainly looms to hold the upcoming SAG too as its main venue remains to be ready yet.
National Sports Council (NSC) member secretary Keshav Kumar Bista shared that proposal has been made to postpone upcoming SAG by six months as the construction of physical infrastructures in the stadium had not been completed.
He affirmed, “The renovation process would be completed by mid-June and I would bid adieu to the NSC after declaring a golden age for sports in Nepal and organizing a grand programme at Dasarath Stadium.”
The Chinese government is extending technical assistance for the reconstruction of Stadium while Nepal will look after the construction of physical infrastructures. Nepal has already completed per cent of the construction.
Construction of the Athletics track, sound system, flood light, score board was yet to start. The Chinese government has agreed to extend its support for the same.
PL Pratisthan Kiranteshwor JV is constructing the bottom four rungs of the general parapet (where the audiences seat) and the VIP parapet, the major works of the stadium reconstruction. The construction company had been awarded the contract in 2016.
Chief engineer of the National Sports Council (NSC)’s Infrastructure and Construction Department, Arun Upadhyaya said, “Even at present 100 to 150 workers are working daily in rebuilding the stadium. It will at least take mid-July to complete all the works.”
Upadhyaya said the construction of the outer structure would be completed within a month while the RCC work on about 30 metres parapet and the retrofitting works on 11 out of the 33 pillars of the parapet remained to be carried out.
The process for calling for tenders for the construction of the roof of the VIP parapet and installing seats all over the parapet has not yet started.
The present design of the stadium was already prepared in 2055 BS (20 years back). China had extended support for the construction of a modern stadium soon after Nepal decided to host the XVIII SAF Games.
Initial Dasharath Stadium
The Dasharath Stadium was constructed 62 years ago in 2013 BS. There was open ground where the stadium stands today. It was a public football ground known as ‘Sano Tundikhel’. The then government planned to organize football, table-tennis, wrestling, athletics and badminton competition coinciding with the coronation of King Mahendra. The need for an appropriate venue for organizing these sports events was direly felt at that time and Kiran Shumsher was given the responsibility of constructing a stadium for this purpose.
That time, there was army barracks to the east, a bamboo grove to the north and open space to the south of the playground. A roofed parapet like structure was constructed on the western side of the playground where the VIPs could seat and watch the sports competitions. This was the primitive structure of the Dashrath Stadium.
A decision was made to upgrade it into an international standard stadium after Sharad Chandra Shah was appointed the Member-Secretary of the National Sports Council in 2034 BS (41 years back). As per this decision, construction of the stadium for upgrading it was started in 2015 BS which completed in 2037 BS. RSS

Published Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 | 03:38 AM

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