Football enthusiasts in Samdrupjongkhar say the artificial turf ground in the town needs lighting facilities so that they could play at night.

They say they cannot play during the day in summer where temperatures soar more than 35 Degree Celsius and the ground is booked most of the time in the mornings and evenings.

A resident, Kinley, said installing lights at the ground would help tournament organisers, as many would opt to play at night.

He said he planned to organise a tournament but many refused to participate since it’s too hot to play during the day.

Another resident, Sonam, said Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) and Samdrupjongkhar Sports Associate (SSA) should install lights.

Kuensel learned that about Nu 13M is required to install the lighting equipment at the ground and the Samdrupjongkhar thromde has no budget at the moment.

BOC officials said that the committee had laid five artificial turfs in Samdrupjongkhar, Kanglung in Trashigang, Gyalpoizhing in Mongar, Phuentsholing and Bumthang in the 11th Plan but none of those grounds was provided with lighting facilities.

Officials said the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) installed lights at the artificial turf in Kanglung while the lighting at the Gyalpoizhing ground was also installed through donations from other agencies.

“We learnt that the Phuentsholing Sports Association (PSA) is mobilising fund to install lights at the ground and it would help if the other two associations could also mobilise fund, as the committee has no fund in the current plan,” officials said.

The BOC spent about Nu 26M in laying the artificial turf and since its inauguration in February this year, football enthusiasts from Pemagatshel also flocked to Samdrupjongkhar to play the game.

The SSA officials were not available for comments.

Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar